In the title poem of her debut collection of poetry, To Speak, Michelle Elrickwrites: My silence seems inevitable//as if I cannot afford to give anything away.//As if I have given it all already, given it to you/?It is the desire to articulate this ?silence? that is the heart of "To Speak." When the failure of a love affair renders everything irrevocably strange, unutterable, the poet begins a quest in search of the means to be able to ?speak? again. It is this journey that the reader is invited to become a part of, traveling by poem on a road trip that will take them both through miles and miles of familiar and uncharted terrain."To Speak" begins with ?bread?: I grind my grandmother's bones to a powder//mix a little water from the blue glacier and ends with the renewal of spring, and a profound connection with nature, ?On the branches, tight knots of new leaf begin their slow unraveling//like the loosening of the tongue around a newly repeated name.?In between there is a rare elegance at work.Seduced by the quiet yet forceful voice of the speaker readers will find themselves entranced by what a word can have bottled up inside of it. The beauty and strength of Michelle Elrick's poetry is that it resonates with simplicity and moth-like grace even when it is asking for the world. So when she asks, ?Are you a kiln? //Are you a can of Krylon it does seem entirely possible.