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
ouroboros,
collecting.

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

comfortable.
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.
Thoughtful
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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