The Dream of Knife, Fork, and Spoon

By Kimiko Hahn

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.

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