She drives for hours,
quizzing herself with answers
then rushing to press the horn.
She knows the answers are the easy part,
She worries she may forget
to phrase her responses
in the form of a question,
so she has taken to speaking
only in interrogatives: What is
I am fine? What is nice
to meet you?
The inventor of the gyroscope:
Who is Foucault? The capital of Qatar:
What is Doha? How much, though,
is enough? Talus, cuneiform, navicular:
bones of the foot. Chou, Han, Sui:
dynasties of China.
She considers herself an expert
on the Reign of Terror,
the Hundred Years War,
the Spanish Inquisition.
She notes how flawlessly the host
takes letters from any language
and sets them right, perfect accent
and more: the French eyebrow,
the German set of chin.
She could tell him anything
and he would take the jumbled
pidgin of her uncertainty,
give it back eloquent and correct.
Cautious, even questions
she phrases as questions:
What is how are you?
What is what’s that
supposed to mean?
Photo by Steve Jurvetson