Friend

Dominica Phetteplace

As we prepare for the long weekend, we’re hoping you and yours have a safe and warm holiday season. In the spirit of giving, we’re sharing Dominica Phetteplace’s poem “Friend” from Issue 120, our Technology-themed issue.

She says Namaste even when not in yoga class, whereas I will not say

om under any circumstances.

She says she doesn’t resent the younger generation, that they are

completely of a world that we made, that to hate the young is to hate

ourselves.

She says that guys on dating apps indicate their marriage suitability

by listing their hobbies as ‘hiking’ and ‘rock climbing.’

Her hobbies include cocaine and gambling, but she leaves those off

her profile.

Somedays she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed, but if I say I want

to get coffee she will walk with me down the avenue to the best café,

the one that hasn’t yet been ruined by Instagram.

It’ll all work out, she says, and I agree even though I don’t.

Plan A is being admired by the world for your intellect and walking

the path of your true calling but until then we have each other.

¦

Later in the day, I text her:

Let’s go to Japan

I want the $22 fruit plate in Sembikaya, the one that comes with half

a banana and three peeled grapes

or let’s go to Paris

and bathe in a Dirand tub made of a single piece of marble.

She writes back:

No more stories about being a tourist in another country, please,

and none about funerals or affairs,

no miscarriages or cancer or things lost in a fire.

Just write about what’s good and what feels good and help me

too because

I am not good at titles or tweets, all of my poems are twenty

pages long

and I cry even when I get personal rejections

tell me they aren’t worth it

¦

She wants a ripped T-shirt, but she doesn’t want to cut the material

herself, won’t even watch a video tutorial on how to be artfully

distressed.

I tell her that virtue signaling is for Libras even as I pine for a Libra.

In my next career I will be an astrologer and then I will know what

kind of Libras to avoid.

Plan A is to face the sunrise bravely but until then we will fave each

other’s tweets while we squint at the horizon.

Dominica Phetteplace is a writer and futurist. She is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize and a Rona Jaffe Award. Her work has appeared in Asimov’s, Catapult, Analog, and other publications. There’s another poem by Phetteplace in Issue 120, so be sure to order your copy today.

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