Thursday, September 8, 2005

Half the world has ceased to be

A Map of the World

Every piece of the puzzle
hasn’t found a fitting contour
eventually falls to the floor
as we make room for cups of coffee
and places to rest our elbows,

This map of the world has
holes in the cardboard ozone,
lakes where there should be
mountain ranges across the
severest edges of Asia,
gaping oceans of nothingness
where neither land nor sea
define the tides or the shape of
the wind blowing over flatlands
and highest peaks,

Quite a world, you would think,
coming into being without
all its parts present in the roll call,
and even the curved and islet shaved
bits finding peace as they are pressed
into place, forced to make nice
with border cuttings that make no sense
nor which force the wrong populations
into the same small area,

And even now things get worse
with desert, which comes on a tray
that’s set on the table, we make remove
our cups and saucers,
take away our magazines and ashtrays,
the tray is moved onto the table top,
and the puzzle moves forward, to the edge,
and by the time the first slice of pie is
served on a dish with small forks
wrapped daintily in thin paper napkins
half the puzzle goes over the table’s edge,
off into the brief outer space between
surface and floor, half the map of the world
has ceased to be,

Irregular bits of the former world
resting in dissociated shards
on the worn wooden floor,
and it’s not over yet,

Dear brother drops his
desert dish
and now
what used to be the
half of the planet
I dreamed about in a romance of travel
is completely, thoroughly
and covered in cake
and sticky, runny icing.

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