We plug in our headphones
Test our mics. The instructor
Speaks coolly, calmly, reassuringly
Between both ears as we fumble,
Wrestling with mind and voices.
'We'll be starting up in a minute.
'All you have to do is follow the instructions.'
We are ready.
Philip Glass should be playing
Eerily in the background.
The nerves are getting to us now.
A final 'click' tells us
She has gone off air and everything
'Resolves itself into "adieu".'
Now another, firmer voice takes control
Making us tremble, the phuttering rehearsing itself
Into our ears.
'Repeat: Wie heißen Sie?'
At the console she is listening, switching
From one to the other.
Is she there? Is she listening to me