In her address book,

she writes a list

of what you are not:

not a dinosaur or a fetus,

not Napoleon’s horse,

not the string of a cello,

not the Word of God

or the Hudson River,

not a chicken wing,

not a dandelion root.

She coughs into her sleeve,

avoids making eye contact,

notes the type of shoe

you choose not to wear.

These introductions take awhile.

She is still learning the names

of everyone she has ever met.


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