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Posts Tagged ‘map’

Tonight is a torn map

and the woman

is a would-be voyager.

Once, she believed

there was a path.

Now, she believes

there are many.

Sitting still

beside the river,

she notices

the urge to rise,

notices when

the urge has passed.

Notices it rise again.

Being still

is one of the hardest

paths of all.

All around her

the world is moving—

gurgling, waving,

weaving, crawling,

climbing, winging, falling,

eroding. And in her,

more movement

than she dares to admit—

not just mudslides,

tectonic shifts—

every day the landscapes

change. Every day

the inner map she drew

looks less like what’s

really there.

It was no mistake

when it ripped.

Find this poem published in the amazing ONE ART POETRY

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That Song

I want to slip into the song

you sang, the one with verse

about loss. I want to hang

on its notes as if they were branches

I could swing from, want to climb

through its chorus, want to meet it

in its rests, want to offer it tea.

I want to ask the guitar

about your fingers, about

how they knew where

to find the melody. And how?

I want to speak with the loss itself,

want to ask it if it’s sure its lost,

want to offer it a map made of apples

and wings and moon.

I want to hear the silence after

the song, and then beg it, beg it,

to keep singing.

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The Vendor

 

 

And if there were a map

for the path of my own becoming,

I wouldn’t buy it.

I tried. I marched up to the vendor

of maps, took out my coin,

and held it out for the exchange,

but was startled by an inner revolt—

not an angry crowd but a quiet, insistent no.

I put the coin back in my pocket

and walked away, wildly aware

I had no idea what step came next.

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Said the Traveler

 

 

 

throwing it away,

that old map toward happiness,

choosing instead

to let my feet wander

whichever way they wander,

each step

an invitation

to arrive

 

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She Said

There it is again, the desire
to be somewhere but here,

the hope to find the self in a different room
with a different face and a different

spine, a different once upon. But we
are always ourselves. And it’s never

gotten us there before, this brittle map
to Elsewhere with its thousands of folds,

its distorted compass rose.
Nope. It’s never taken us even an inch

away from wherever we are. Always here.
Though we squint, or heck, even change

the narrator to second person, no matter:
the room you are in is the room you are in,

and it is still your face you see in the mirror
whether you want to recognize it or not.

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With a Forever Stamp

Here, my dear, is the map
to my heart. I have put a big
red x in the center of the paper,
but it’s faded now to soft pink.
There are creases so old, so thin
that the names of the landmarks
can no longer be read. But here
is the old barn with the ladders
stacked against the metal roof.
And here’s the river bank
where many afternoons we stood.
And here the fields of columbine,
and here the song of canyon wren.
I’ll fold it and send it again to you,
though I fear in a week it will come
back to me, again, Return to Sender,
unopened, the seal and all
its kisses still intact.

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When you stand on the ledge
six stories above the street,

you are perhaps lost, but
there is not a lot a map can tell you.

There is back in the window,
and there is down.

What is it that keeps you
from jumping.

You wouldn’t even need to jump.
Just trip. Lean. Step. Or if you sneeze,

it could be considered an accident.
Somehow easier that way to imagine it,

but how to explain the fact that you
climbed through the pane

out onto the railingless edge.
Someone would have to clean up

the splatter. That thought
is enough to hold you here,

back against the brick.
It’s not that you want to die.

Below, the cars crisscross and merge.
But how to go on living.

Beneath you the ravens weave.

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the compass rose
slipped off the map—
the road bloomed

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