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Crossing in the wrong direction, we are quickly
Sealed off, directionless, earth’s blind villagers.
We follow the leader and the riverbank to its dried-out
Roots, while at the merest ruffle of wind, bird, leaf,
We hide ourselves behind the thick bodies of old trees
That have the tiny, sad eyes and the long, delicate lashes
Of chained elephants. We witness the quiet lives
Of fireflies, igniting themselves, their enviable wings;
The languorous butterfly climbing into the flower’s face;
And begin to be muted by our arrival at the inconceivable
Door, as when the radiated wolves crept into the hunters’
Huts to be comforted and were comforted.
Emily Fragos is the author of Little Savage (Grove/Atlantic, 2004) and Hostage: New & Selected Poems (Sheep Meadow Press, 2011). Her work has appeared in The American Poetry Review, Best American Poetry, The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, Threepenny Review, Yale Review, and numerous other journals. She is the recipient of a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in Poetry, and a 2014 American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award Winner.
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