• Visiting Friends

    Rebecca Wolff

    Winter 2018

    Good people and bad people. The ones who are bad are bad to themselves, bad in nuance, bad over time, bad in the poles around which

    error writhes, obviously

    Old friends and ones I never knew
    I know them now. A trip

    to visit, motiveless, why are you here, I don’t understand. But I will make you

    The ones in compromised

    relationships, unrepeatable dependencies, the ones

    at the start of long collaborations about which it is impossible

    not to be starry-eyed

    stars get in your eyes in their domain
    necrotic definition.
    grocery shopping.

    Younger people know less about themselves, in general, but only for the moment, they will learn and then forget. They all have blind spots, and some of these are larger than others. Some have large eyes only on one side.

    The good people, they turn bad, and they turn good, they come to grips and they turn a cold eye and a warm one. The visitor is no judge, sees it all, skewers, valorizes, vivisection, Jackie,

    a pseudonym. Jackie and her husband “Jake,” driven and wired
    their little daughters, 6 and ten, fierce and sad, the fierce one happy and the sad one angry—the rivalry between them in their pajamas Saturday morning so intense
    minutia hour by hour the clock of who got what and how much they will not relinquish,
    they mince their days.

    Rebecca Wolff is the author of four collections of poetry, most recently One Morning[Symbol] (Wave Books, 2015), and a novel, The Beginners (Riverhead Books, 2011). She is the editor of Fence, and lives in the Hudson Valley, where she is a fellow at the New York State Writers Institute at the University at Albany.

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