I said I wanted to know
what was really going on.
He said he found it hard to say,
it was like he had a splinter
in his tongue that stopped
him from telling the truth.
I countered his mysterious metaphor
by telling him in that case I felt
like I’m hidden between
the pages of a novel but I’m not on
anyone’s pile of books to be read.
He said that was too obscure
even for him. He said he thought
it was typical of me and it
sounded too metaphysical
to make any sense at all.
I nearly said, what a hypocrite, but instead
said there’s something illiberal about your attitude,
because I read the term in the paper
and I thought it sounded intelligent
even though I’m not sure what it meant.
As I left, he said nothing.
Which was a first.