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Emily Kendal Frey



Is it harder for the bachelorette or her suitors?

The brown oyster mushroom

on her face is possibly the most perfect

nose I have ever seen.  I think people

might actually win love. The funny guy always

appeared safe but later you saw him

in the dark green yard

puking, a thin

sweat on the back of his neck.

I want the air I breathe

to maintain my body’s

mystery. I worry I’ll run into you at a party

then I remember I don’t go to parties

so I’m safe.  I have no godly discipline.

When someone yells I still huddle

under a want for ice cream.

How can you love people

without them feeling accused

If I wanted to win

I would draw harder lines

and sit next to them, stay

awake, rattle the box of bullets.

When we touch my heart

gets green

and white, preppy, bordered,

oh! she says and perks up.

It hurts to not be everyone else. If love dies

it was already dead.



Emily Kendal Frey lives in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of several chapbooks and chapbook collaborations, including Frances, Airport, 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, is available from Octopus Books.