You might think you are not thinking, but you are.
A thought moves from dirt up through me and if I do not
disabuse it, it grows.
To suffer, to bear from below.
Coming down the mountain I could see a reservoir through the
trees, fat and glowing.
You are alone in your one life and no one will enter your
Teenagers sit on the sign outside the nunnery.
We are so afraid of failing we can't live.
So we leave apartments, not breathing, breathe on the way
The potential is not the actual.
I was not a good skateboarder.
As we allow for suffering, we live.
You took a picture of me at sunset, thighs drying roses against
an orange sky.
“This alone is deathless and everlasting”
In the dark we know one another finally.
I can be as you as I am.
“The mind-body problem”
You did things to block out the light.
Yes, another reference to morning.
When I am feeding myself I hate myself.
I was younger and not planning on dying.
In the forest between trees we dismantle thought.
Bed of summer branches, us gently.
“Much learning does not teach the mind”
And, walking across the road to the post office, able to see the
You: I googled “If you postpone love will it not end?”
To feel you have to exit the body.
To use a higher mind is to be part of the cosmos.
Then she lowered her voice to a rasp and told those assembled
There are no edges.
Waiting on the patio with whiskey, girl, they said, he’s not
The ethical implications of thinking.
In order to understand nature do we have to die?
Affixed to us driving the road to a mountain lake.
One must stay diligent to avoid becoming a symbol.
Let us bow down and never leave the island.
Me: “Did you think my angry phase would end?”
A day, a peeling scrim.
The moon looks into our lion mouths.
The mind’s hedge in an empty neighborhood.
If god is reason the mind is dead.
Ornate Senate of Loss, Call Me Forth to Announce Myself as
You’ll use what I taught you to manipulate others.
This gives me sad pleasure.
Copyright © 2015 by Emily Kendal Frey. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on August 5, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.
We’ve turned our walks into finding things
that catch fire easily, like us
our fascination with bush craft—
how to survive in a forest
without the conveniences
we have at home
the first human to discover fire
rubbed two stones together
friction is a good thing.
we have fun starting fires
scratching the Mora knife against the small iron rod
sending sparks into a nest of dried grass and fibrous barks
you put out the flame with the sole of your hiking boot
so we can begin, again
by the time we leave the forest,
we’ve discovered deer poo combusts easily
human hair doesn’t
I’ve given a lock and you’ve won the bet
By the time we leave
we’ve lost count of the fires we’ve started.
Copyright © 2015 Mildred Barya. This poem originally appeared in Poetry Quarterly. Reprinted with permission of the author.