Will they wander back, effigies
we thought to have burnt in our sleep
but bright-eyed now, appearing at doorsteps
without cause, unless to return
the charms we had endowed them with
and sorely need today?

It is they, not we, who refuse
entry, withholding the lush names
they once inhabited, and which we knew
as presences outside the desert tent.
When the open sky yawned approval,
we folded, once and for all.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 41 Number 3, on page 33
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https://newcriterion.com/issues/2022/11/on-certain-imaginary-friends