Name This Body

Emily Hockaday
| poetry


Out in the reeds
I am the person I was. The sky
is the same; the water is a perfect
blue. Nothing seems to have changed
here at the reservoir, and I can imagine
—until my daughter breaks the mirror
silence—that I am who I was. Like
time, my skin stretched, to make room
for more love. The chemicals in my brain
swung wildly, an unbalanced
pendulum, but even after all that
I found stillness. Here at the reservoir
I ask my daughter, who has seen
every side of me that matters,
to name the sounds, the colors,
the moments that move quickly
behind us, the faces we love,
the star she always points to,
Vega, name anything really,
anything you can. I look into her
face, fiercely, and tell her: name this.

Emily Hockaday’s first full-length collection, Naming the Ghost, will be released by Cornerstone Press in November 2022. Her fifth chapbook, Beach Vocabulary, was published by Red Bird Chapbooks in March 2022. Her poems have appeared in a variety of online and print publications.

Language, first and last
Occurrence of a Dream Translated by Animals