In “Orlando,” an entry in Megan Fernandes’ stirring third poetry collection, she writes that poems give “form to the formless,” capturing the essence of her book. Split into four sections, the poems in I Do Everything I’m Told give words to unnamable desires and mysterious obsessions, telling stories that span the world and beyond, from Shanghai locker rooms to a freezing Rockaway Beach to Saturn’s rings. The speaker of the poems is wrestling with life, and with interpersonal relationships and connections to everything else. With striking clarity in her language and an attentiveness to the beauty of contradictions, Fernandes creates a work that is less a balm than it is a wallop to the senses, jarring the reader awake. —Mahita Gajanan

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