First, say I don’t know.
Refuse to apologize. Stand your ground.
Then say I’m sorry.
Defend your sanity and your humanity.
Demand they bow down to the finite
Boundaries of your knowledge
And “appreciate” the distinct contours
Of the discrete, well-circumscribed
Spot, the lesion on the surface of
All that is knowable.
They must tremble in “appreciation”
Of your humility.
If they don’t, repeat I don’t know louder.
Unplug it and plug it back in.
You will find that unless they understand
The deepest depths of your soul,
They will not understand
Your lack of understanding.
And their understanding of this is vital
To your successfully saying I don’t know.
Otherwise, you don’t get the point across.
They won’t know why you don’t know
How you don’t know
What you don’t know.
In which case, you might
Draw a picture of all the things you know.
Use white board markers.
They must be dry erase.
However the drawing only works if it is
Not erased for three days in a row.
The diagrams depict uncertainty
Delicately balanced in negative space
Between red scribbles (for vasculature) and
Scribbles of other colors (for everything else).
And if they find their eyeglasses
Among the tangle of bedsheets and wavering sedatives
Or even if they don’t find those glasses,
They will finally see what you mean
When you say I don’t know.