Coffee or Tea?
City Mouse or Country Mouse?
Autumn or Spring?
On what do you base your preferences?
On which preferences do you base your identity?

Fold up all your favorites, pack them into a steamer trunk, and send it overseas.
A slow boat… to where?


Write each of them a letter of longing: a love letter. A letter of letting-go:

Dear John, my dogged-eared dictionary…
My beloved Jane, deep-green woolen shawl…

How does it feel to be as un-anchored as the ship that has carried everything away?
How does it feel to walk on solid ground with your arms free, your back unbowed from the weight of all that you’d gathered?

Are you ambivalent in the face of these losses?

What do the voices of your love/hates say to you? Do to you?

And how do you soothe them?

Which pose to do take to breathe freely?

What do they say about you
when you’re not in the room?

What will they say when they put your body in the ground?
What will they think, but never say aloud
even when you’re gone?

What are the first ten adjectives that come to mind?

Whisper an anecdote that is the story of how you moved through the world.
In whose ear did you whisper?

Who reaches for a memory of you, to inspire them
to be brave enough
to get through another night?
And who has etched your words in their heart
on a caution sign?

How wide is your ambition?
How precise?
What do you feed it? And how –
with silver spoons or sticky fingers?
Who taught you to prepare the meal? Where and when and
how well did you learn?

Who will invite you to a dinner party that you will never attend?

How loud must the applause be for you to be satisfied?
How long must it echo to make it worth what it cost you?
A year? A decade? A century?

How far can you fall? And, be honest now:
how will you possibly
survive?