Emily Kendal Frey


Eye contact with very old

people fills me with a power

I try to smile back

into them


It's similar to sex in that you feel

unable to close

for a moment 


The world is still

filling with garbage 


At the doorway to the island church

I cried

Wept, really, it came down

over me not through


You will not ever I don't think

understand my position 

As I am a yellow raft in a green pond

and you are a word

asking itself for definition 


Perhaps the lamp and other gifts are ripped

When I think about love

a glass of glass 


One person's advice was to make the rain      

sounds a part of you

I have not yet achieved feeling

safe in anything not my body 


I try to rise above

My pain before I enter it


Who would we be

without a very dark yard


Language and water do not understand

Each other 


You don't have to believe

In what makes you happy


Emily Kendal Frey is the author of several chapbooks and chapbook collaborations, including FrancesAirport, Baguette, and The New Planet. The Grief Performance, her first full-length collection, won the Norma Farber First Book Award from The Poetry Society of America in 2012. Her second collection, Sorrow Arrow, won the Oregon Book Award in 2015.