These are poems for grownups who believe in life and death. They are chastened by the press of the second part of life, and reading these poems is like walking through a museum of priceless artifacts-at night, alone, in silence-our heels echoing down marble corridors. Gradually we come to see that even these language exhibits, these brilliantly made dioramas, are fading. We know it. The poet knows it. But the fact that she has made them anyway, against that knowledge, means everything.Aleda Shirley is the author of two collections of poems, 'Chinese Architecture' and 'Long Distance'. She lives in Jackson, Mississippi.