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About this poet

Emily Fragos is the author of Hostage: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011). She teaches at Columbia University and New York University, and lives in New York City.

The Path

Emily Fragos

There is so little to go on: a pale
trembling hand as I stand over you,
my finger tracing the words on the page,
a foreign language you are learning
for a journey without me. You will do
fine, I say. You will wrap your tongue
around these sounds and be understood,
be given what you desire: a loaf of bread,
change for your money, an antique doll
with violent eyes. Paintings are hanging
on walls, behind glass, waiting for you
to admire them. Their plaintive beauty
will move through you and you will walk
back to your hotel through the park
I know well. I spent years there walking
its bridle path, a gray cat in my arms,
moving toward you, blind, in another life.

From Little Savage by Emily Fragos. Copyright © 2004 by Emily Fragos. Reprinted by permission of Grove Press. All rights reserved.

From Little Savage by Emily Fragos. Copyright © 2004 by Emily Fragos. Reprinted by permission of Grove Press. All rights reserved.

Emily Fragos

Emily Fragos is the author of Hostage: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011). She teaches at Columbia University and New York University, and lives in New York City.

by this poet

poem

When someone dies, the clothes are so sad. They have outlived
their usefulness and cannot get warm and full.
You talk to the clothes and explain that he is not coming back

as when he showed up immaculately dressed in slacks and plaid
     jacket
and had that beautiful smile on and you’d