Who becomes familiar with mortal
illness for very long. I was a stranger, &c.
Not everyone appreciates it, no
one finds being the third person
becoming, it’s never accurate,
and then one is headed for the past tense.
Futurity that was once a lark, a gamble,
a chance messenger, traffic and trade, under sail.
The boy touches your arm in his sleep
for ballast. It’s warm in the hold. Between
ship and sky, the bounds of sight
alone, sphere so bounded.
—from “All Souls”
The central suite of poems vibrates with a ghostly radioactive attentiveness, with care unbounded by time or space. Its impossible charge is to acknowledge and ease suffering with a gaze that both widens and narrows its aperture. Lightly told, told without sentimentality, the story is devastating. A mother prepares to take leave of a young son. Impossible departure. “A disturbance within the order of moments.” One that can’t be stopped, though in these poems language does arrest and in some essential ways fix time.
Tenderness, courage, refusal, and acceptance infuse this work, illuminating what Elizabeth Hardwick called “the universal unsealed wound of existence.”
Regan Good attended Barnard College and the Iowa Writers’ Workshop where she was a Maytag Fellow. She has held multiple residencies at MacDowell, Yaddo, The Fine Arts Work Center, Ucross, VCCA and Ragdale. She has published two books of poems, The Atlantic House (2011), and The Needle (2020). She teaches at the Pratt School of Architecture and Barnard College. She is currently a Contributing Editor at Interim, and lives in Brooklyn.