Turing Test

Turing Test
or Language Gap
or Aphasia

I spent a month with a man who loved me in parts.
My hair. My eyes. The curve of my back. The bulk of me,
skeptical, overturned by the gravity of his voice and his
earnest interest.

In his kind stare and smile, I found myself fixated
on the concept of us as a couple, completely forgetting
myself in favor of our family—a rush of children laughing
in a framed portrait.

On our last date I invited him into my small apartment,
and over red wine we spoke our two languages, shared
secrets, and the warm thick air around us evaporated
when he teased me.

Then suddenly we were silent. The only sound a simmer
of sofrito on the stove. He tried to clarify before he left.
I still haven’t pieced together if what he said was wrong,
or if I didn’t understand.

Robert Américo Esnard

Robert Américo Esnard was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. He studied Linguistics and Cognitive Science at Dartmouth College. His work has been published by or is forthcoming in Bat City Review, Cutbank, Michigan Quarterly Review, New York Quarterly, The Offing, and many other journals and anthologies.