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.
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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.