Frederick Pollack


Someone’s cousin intermittently

appeared in that pre-virus family

swarm. Obese; complexion

ineffectively concealed; party dress

another burden; the genes

behind the face precluding [“conventional,”

you’re supposed to say “conventional”

or “accepted”] beauty. Furtively checked

(“it’s impolite!”) her phone

to see how she was currently being mocked.

Boys wandered, bored, from aunt to uncle,

who asked in effect if they were already

millionaires; she watched. Country club …

was there an outside,

or way or desire to get there? Nameless

familiar horror of being noticed and

of not. Worse horror of advice;

and what could mine have been? My dear,

a science-fiction writer of the ‘50s

told me that somewhere in the galaxy

lives someone lonelier than you.

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