Complaint About Missing Friends after Eight Months of the Pandemic

No one near to see or hear me but the dog,
who sighs when I say serious things & I’m dead
serious when I tell her how her gray muzzle
is softer than Samarkand silk.

No one to tell I just read that on hot summer
nights, Verlaine threw pail after pail after
cold water pail on the gravel under Rimbaud’s
windows, to cool the air as he slept.

No one to sidestep with me to some silly tune —
as the dog’s tail wags out of rhythm — or listen
to my Flemish song about spring coming soon
& the Phallus Impudicus being almost in bloom.

To see me kneel by the rosemary, breathing in
its oily green before night will come flitting
into the yard & the skunks & raccoons join in
to feast on such fresh darkness.

No friends to be here with all this & wave, fondly,
as they leave the rosemary, the dog, the evening
& me. But leaving behind that lilt in their voices —
goodnight, goodnight.





Poet Laureate of Santa Barbara, Laure-Anne Bosselaar is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf; Small Gods of Grief, winner of the Isabella Gardner Prize; and A New Hunger, selected as an ALA Notable Book. The winner of the 2020 James Dickey Poetry Prize, and the recipient of a Pushcart Prize, she is the editor of five anthologies. Her new book, These Many Rooms, came out from Four Way Books in 2019.

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