What is your favorite flower, favorite bird?
I really want you to tell me. If you had twins
what would you name them? Or two goldfish?
How about two cats from the same litter?
Mittens or gloves?
What letter did you most love learning to write
so when you scripted it over and over in your copybook
you tingled with graphic pleasure?
Pick a crayon. What’s the best time of day?
When you play Monopoly,
which little token represents you on the board?
Have a seat. This could take a while.
Cup or mug? Placemats or tablecloth?
Would you rather live in a world where no one cared?
When you were six, what was your favorite song?
It’s sad to forget. Uh huh.
What suit of cards do you prefer? Which fairy tale?
Seashore or mountains? You must choose your horse
on the merry-go-round or you can’t ride—a lesson
of long ago. What were the most comfortable shoes
you ever owned? (Here I could tell a strange story;
let’s just say I have evidence—somewhere
there’s someone who could fill your shoes exactly.)
What do you want for dinner?—speak or starve.
My head hurts too.
As it happens, you’ve stumbled
into my humble democracy.
Here’s your cup of coffee, your violet-blue crayon,
your miniature iron, your hummingbird . . . ,
now, friend (if I may call you friend),
let’s get to work.
Copyright © BOA Editions, Ltd 2010
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc.
on behalf of BOA Editions LTD.