Posts Tagged ‘dragon’

Over the Edge



hic sunt dracones

it says on the Hunt-Lennox globe,

its copper halves wired together.

The words mark

the eastern coat of Asia.

Here are dragons.


Half a century later,

we wonder still

did the maker mean

Komodo dragons?

Sea monsters?

The Dagroian people

whom Marco Polo reported

would eat the dead

and lick their bones?

Or was it simply a nod

to how frightening

it feels at the edge

of the known?


Tonight my son calls me

with an unbearable ache,

his map of the world



Though I am far away,

or perhaps because of that,

we are close.

Our voices say the words

we least want to say.

Our hearts are porous

and soft.


I want to tell him

that the dragons are not

at the edge of the map.

They are inside us.

And sometimes

they are more evil

than the most evil

we could imagine.

And sometimes,

though we’d rather

hate them, they are beautiful.


Instead I tell him

these are difficult times.


The globe, the third oldest

terrestrial globe in the world,

about the size of a grapefruit,

was bought by an architect

named Hunt. He told his friend

he had bought the object

in Paris for a song.

He let his children toy with it.

The friend begged

Hunt to keep the globe safe.


None of us are safe.

I fear I have let my dragons

escape, that they have flown

into my son.


Let him toy with them then,

the old ways of thinking

about the world—

let the unknown

become a place for play.


Here are dragons,

I think, as I redraw

the map, and write

the words on my face.

They sprout wings

and pick me up

with their terrible claws

and fly me to the cliffs

of my life

and drop me

over the edge.








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