The Parts of Maps

1. Title

No one calls my name by accident on busy streets.
I don’t turn to catch them looking, blank as deer before
the leap, tails gone white with fervor or favor or prescient
knowledge of the gun before the blow.

I’m not the deer in this paperwoods.
But we knew that. The first time I burred
your bootsocks, clinging. That grove of apples
has long gone grown, broken by ivy-veined hearts,

by the breathblown bloom of the glories of morning.
Sweet turns sour when it rots. Even the apple no longer
splits. Alabastered sweat, slick as a saltlick.

I told you: I’m not that kind of girl.

2. Compass Rose

In any direction you like.

Why didn’t anyone tell me that?


3. Neatline

[Fuck that]

4. Inset

The map folds this many ways.
That’s not a wrinkle; it’s a crease line.
Not a mole. A pin point.
Not a vein. An invitation to sweetstroll
rivered bluebys.

Don’t look so goddamn close. Your fingertips
are printed to trace the way sheets crease, how water
bruises the edges of things into pulp. How the route is
never larger than it appears.

Something set in
its ways. I had to look it up before I realized
they meant me.

5. Legend

Explain this to me, then.

5. Alternative Legend

God says no to me every day. But I never
believed in god anyway.



Image taken with iphone in my living room at 6am.
Words written on the train from Portland to Seattle.
Brain on traveling, maps, love, wanderlust,
Ears on Leonard Cohen, John Gorka

This entry was published on January 3, 2012 at 11:03 am and is filed under January, Poems, Self-Portraits, Somewhere Between. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “[3]

  1. ancient photographer on said:

    Stunning verbal imagery interwoven with visual Shanna snippets! Perfect for a new year.

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