Four Words to Describe Yourself?

By: Ana Schulte


About the question, or the world?

Unsure whether to answer truthfully, or to fabricate a more intriguing narrative.

Unsure what the question implies: Fears,

(Spiders, bad grades, falling out of love)

or physicalities, 

(Brown eyes, red cheeks, mutilated fingernails)

or favorite songs?

(Banana Pancakes, Eleanor Rigby, Don’t Dream It’s Over.)


Most of the time, anyway.

Driving eastward away from the sun,

eating brownies with plastic forks,

snapping pictures of dark trees and bright leaves…

With other people, driving and eating and snapping prelude joy,

but alone, maybe they don't.

Does the word count if it’s not independent,

if its part doesn’t play out in the dark as you lay, vulnerably, 

with only yourself to keep you company?


Perhaps commonly misinterpreted as hyperactive,

but no,

Excited for the birthdays and parties, and holidays and cupcakes,

and kisses, (hopefully) and babies, (maybe)

For money, and triumphant shouts, and good tears followed by good hugs,

and maybe even for the stormy nights, when the tide crashes

wet against your skin,

but drying off in the sun helps you forget.

Mostly excited for the days I’ll stop answering questions to trivial personality quizzes.

Can I leave this one blank?.

I hope that counts, 

because I’m starting to doubt the legitimacy of this question.

Maybe it’s not the words you use to answer, but the way you choose to approach it.

Four lines are hardly enough to explain the workings of a 


with a scar on her ankle and stretch marks on her hips,

and stories pouring out of her fingertips.

And though the words I speak do not account

for they think,

I’ve seen the people around me erasing madly, and here’s my conclusion: 

four lines may be too much-

Some people only need one.