In Their Own Words

Emily Kendal Frey on “This Deepening Takes Place Again”

Emily Kendal Frey author photo

This Deepening Takes Place Again

What if everything

were revealed: where I was

last night. You, etc. The rain

is coming down like salad.

My sister's hair

reminds me of my sister

so much I can't

stop looking. Who am I

to have arms? On the plane

one short dream:

a baby so small

it wasn't even human,

just a bouquet

of light with wise

cellular eyes. If losing me

is the worst thing to happen,

your life is still a good life.

From Lovability (Fonograf Editions, 2021). All rights reserved. Reprinted with the permission of the author.

On “This Deepening Takes Place Again”

Three months or so after I stopped drinking, I visited one of my sisters in Montreal. She lived in a sweaty top floor apartment stuffed with music and cellos, It was a sublet, so we shared the space with someone else's belongings- big velvet pillows, piles of pilly blankets, the tops to coffee mugs. My first night there, I forgot where I was and was startled to remember not the place, but that I was me. While my sister practiced, I went on walks and let the city scrape me, circled the small Mount Royal, filled notebooks with a rant called WHO AM I TO STAND IN THE PATH that evolved into the louder dirge of SORROW ARROW, bought a black leather jacket with fringe, talked to my therapist on Skype, watched crows shit on the blue roof of the auto shop next door, ate small bagels and big bagels, attended AA meetings in French. I was molting, private, sexy, embarrassed, free, expanded, alone. I took photographs. I was definitely heartbroken, over what or whom I can't recall.

One day we made our way to a café just as it started raining. We settled into our window seats and it struck me: I can't be sure of anything but the infinite tethers between me and the facing moment. We don't get to choose much, but we can notice what touches us. I wrote this "This Deepening Takes Place Again" as a nod to mystery, as a way of being, right now, with what lives in my heart exactly as it is. I want to always be deepening, into what I won't know, but I plan to choose it anyway.

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