The Dream of Knife, Fork, and Spoon
I can’t recall where to set the knife and spoon.
I can’t recall which side to place the napkin
or which bread plate belongs to me. Or
how to engage in benign chatter.
I can’t recall when more than one fork—
which to use first. Or what to make of this bowl of water.
I can’t see the place cards or recall any names.
The humiliation is impressive. The scorn.
No matter how much my brain “revises” the dinner
to see if the host was a family member—
I can’t recall which dish ran away with which spoon.
From Brain Fever (W. W. Norton, 2014). Copyright © 2014 by Kimiko Hahn. Used with permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.