Endrezze's collection, her first, is luxuriant with fragments of myth, the voices of different personae, striking visual images and always, as a backdrop, metaphors interweaving the natural world with the landscape of human emotion. Her heritage is half-European and half-Yaqui Indian; in these poems, native American sensibility manifests itself in the earthbound nature of her images and in her deep sensitivity to the rhythms of nature rather than in the subject matter. Endrezze is also a professional storyteller and a painter (one of her vivid, dreamlike paintings is the book's cover.) These abilities, which also arise from a warm, primal sensibility, surface in her beautifully visualized images and in the strong narrative movement of many poems.
Endrezze's is a voice, or vision, that constantly redefines familiar things, sure of itself at every turn but respectful of an abiding mystery. Throughout these poems Endrezze strikes arresting balances, via metaphors, between the human world and the natural world, as in these opening lines from "Calendars":
the days are circles of bread, paper-words, the light in the egg the nights are grass-moons, volcanic glass the dark wine of the body The calendar of water is lightning-flint, the dew that scars the iris, the bitter salt of blood
my wrist is time's turning on bone, the sinew of grace
Often she seems to be translating passionate feeling directly into landscape, which allows her to speak from the very personal realm of desire and loss in such a way as to link personal dynamics to the less personal, more encompassing workings of nature. In "Searching for the One in My Dreams," she conjures the searched-for lover through a metaphor, making him more a natural force rather than a specific person: "Your name is a red branch. Your eyes have been the western twilight .... Though you be the only rain on a high plateau, I will find you." And in "There Are Roses You've Never Given Me," she uses images of roses to honor, with particular grace, the sensual, expansive, powerful feminity of the speaker: "I carry .... Roses made of teeth / and threads of rain."
Passion in Endrezze's work is enduring, yet full of ebb and flow, linked as it is with natural laws. In the example above, it has a lyrical quality, something gentle and plantlike. Elsewhere, however, passion has the heat and rankness of animal life. In a poem called "Fox-Woman Goes Man-Hunting," Endrezze's Yaqui background and her skills as a storyteller come into full play, as a fox "take[s] on the illusion of womanskin" in order to find the man who killed her "Kits" and to become impregnated by him so that she can have more. She hitches a ride into town and enters a bar where she sees:
.... the evasive eyes of gray-suited men who think they are wolves. There are hands that snap-trap the flesh in dark comers. There are the growly words that smell like old meat on the teeth of urging men. But I got savvy. I know some tricks of my own! I take the smoky light into my nails and scratch my sign on their groins. Now there's some action!