That was the summer I fell asleep in German

 and woke up in French. I lay down on the earth,

  stared up through a three-dimensional labyrinth

    of dark branches stretching toward sky.

     Curves are so much more caressing than

       straight lines, n’est-ce pas?  Who has time

         to look at parabolas? Could I express only

          a parade of diversionary questions? Nein, nein,

           the German inside demanded, Gib mir Antworten!

            I went to a party and tried only to ask questions

             and answer none. I was a spy, intimidating

             to at least two persons. Questions are curves,

           without closure. Could one spend a whole evening

         on a stroll through someone else’s mind? How

        refreshing to encounter unfamiliar corridors.

       No one is throwing up skeet and asking me

      to shoot. The parade massed and snapped

     to attention, goose-stepped away. Replaced by

    tendrils, drifting pine needles. When I awoke, I was

   la belle étrangère, omnipotent in my voluptuous

  listening. I could coax even the waves to speak.



                                    --Karen Braucher

                                    from Aqua Curves (copyright 2005),

                                    first published in the journal Rattle



Site contents copyright (c) 1997-2008 by Karen Braucher.  All rights reserved. 

Contact the author for more information.

Back to Portfolio of Poems