My shadow serves as the friend I crave

Anna Akhmatova

If there is friendship and if there are friends, the poem disrupts them by opening them up to radical estrangement, detachment, and dislocation, since the poet and her shadows follow one another without ever catching each other, when one is being followed by what one follows, separated by infinite distancing except in the night when they disappear into the dark abyss and the ecstatic noon when they disappear into one another without ever encountering each other. Friendship is despair and apartness, and friends are impossible; silhouettes, vestiges, and absences.  

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