The Night I Quit Flossing–Tracy Mishkin


Tracy Mishkin’s poetry collection, The Night I Quit Flossing, celebrates the wonder of being alive when faced with the frailty of health and the fragility of human relationships. Her poems are alive to the senses, to the ways bodies become ghosts before they’re gone for good. The characters that inhabit her lines are tangible physical presences that linger in rooms, just as they haunt the space of her pages. Through battles with cancer and arguments that point to divorce, her speakers chronicle near-misses with death and depression. This book is about the sanctity with which we imagine attending the deaths of the people we love and the relationships we cherish. The passion that electrifies Mishkin’s verse is well-matched with her language play. Ultimately, the message of The Night I Quit Flossing is that inevitable toxicity compels us to live in an incautious way because recoveries from the brink of death and divorce are still possible.

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