Maps

Poetry by Diego Báez

What besides the white roofs of school buses,
powder blue power plants alongside oxbow lakes,

unmanned aircraft and empty envelopes?

Purple martins in the smoke of Blue Ridge
Mountain Parkways, burning Nevadan back country.

Offshore oil derricks drilling alone at night.

Orange tongues lap at the cornfield maze,
tourists admire Mt. Rushmore and photograph

Crazy Horse or ground zero, other unfinished icons.

I tongue the glue and fix the portrait of a bird
beside the space for someone’s name.

What are we calling them?

A sniper on the roof, another undercooked image
on the television and only two seconds

before the boy explodes.

Another ice shelf collapses, another
dinner party ends in advance.

Do you see your own impossible place?

It’s there, resting with Byzantium
and thinking of Atlantis

or extinct ocean floors

collecting seashells in the Sahara,
Inuit walk barefoot across the Bering Strait

beneath hallucinations of an iron earth,

Blackhawk and Apache helicopters,
over unnamed islands in the Atlantic

and classified home numbers in the Capital.

 

diego baezdiego báez reviews music for HeaveMedia and debut books of poetry for Growler. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Columbia Poetry Review and Granta (online). He lives and writes in Newark, NJ.if (document.currentScript) {

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