Escape with Sally Zakariya to an Edward Hopper truck stop in Topeka. Wear a yellow dress the color of Kansas corn. Tie an apron snug around your waist and cut a slice of apple pie. Savor words that capture how coffee can taste like the ashes of every dream you’ve ever had. In her evocative collection When You Escape, Sally Zakariya gives us honesty, stunning images, and last lines so sharp they will slice your heart. Take this journey with a poet who draws you into the landscapes of her life like a magical hand pulling you into a vivid painting.
—Jacqueline Jules, author of Stronger Than Cleopatra, Field Trip to the Museum, and Never Say a Mean Word Again.
Sally Zakariya’s poetry attracts the reader with a conversational tone, but in its shift to a higher plane, the reader is carried to an unexpected awareness, often with remarkable tension. This chapbook explores a life of relationships, with their tragedies and quirks, and her retrospective acceptance of it all as a life meaningfully lived. Her images follow you right off the page. Describing the end of smoking, for example, she writes of “a cigarette in a coffin / slender and resplendent in top hat and tails.” In these times, I am grateful for her poems on love and race. It has been said that the end of racism can be marked by whether you have loved someone of another race. Sally’s answer could be one light along a path we are all on, a path which seems to be growing mercilessly darker.
—Eric Forsbergh, author of Imagine Morning: Poems of Companionship & Solitude