I have been there, briefly.

I can tell you they watch us

through a scope they use to make us

appear, as we go about our business,

very near. At other times,

for reasons I don’t understand,

they watch us through the other end.

“They are far from here today,”

they tell themselves then

when it seems they need us to be

elsewhere. They might easily see us

with the naked eye, but they appear

to have lost that ability; perhaps

it is forgotten or forbidden.


Richard Hoffman has published four volumes of poetry, Without Paradise; Gold Star Road, winner of the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize and the Sheila Motton Award from The New England Poetry Club; Emblem; and his new collection Noon until Night. His other books include the celebrated Half the House: a Memoir, published in a 20th Anniversary Edition in 2015, the 2014 memoir Love & Fury, and the story collection Interference and Other Stories. His work, both prose and verse, appears in such journals as Agni, Barrow Street, Consequence, Harvard Review, Hudson Review, The Literary Review, The Manhattan Review, Poetry, Witness and elsewhere. A former Chair of PEN New England, he is Senior Writer in Residence at Emerson College in Boston.




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