Maps

(i)

 

*

My curious fingers probed

the smooth surface,  

spun the globe on its axel, a coloured blur

All blue yellow green

made the world a sleek oval

I could only graze over

Not knowing, not travelled,

Tongue heavy with English words

 

*

In bed we say where our ancestors are from,

Our quarter of foreign blood

pooled in each others arms

Not quite English, but nothing else.

 

*

As if we can share out our drops of blood

That led us here. Your eyes glaze over

They shine in the half light of this room

The earth a ball between us, I curve and make

A circle space within myself, cradle you

Spinning the room on its axel

 

*

(ii)

 

*

Sleek as a wave lapping

an island’s strange rough outline

On a map, on a globe,

gloss bright as a fresh two pence piece

our felt tip coloured country where we grew up

is the same size as that penny

I’ve made a map of you, cursory surveyed

What I know and made this map,

Pencil marked roads that diverge and split

Become more than themselves

Lead nowhere, lead to cul de sacs,

Lead to country which is conveyed

By a blunt forest green patch in the shape of a rectangle

There are many pigeons landing on statues

In public parks where we have been and sat

Infantile; I draw two stick figures holding hands

In the place where I’ve put your heart.

 

*

 

(iii)

*

 

I’ve mapped your insides, your brain’s

Giant grey web was a good start, I took

The lobe that accounts for instinct

Dissected and diagrammed it

Drew in ink the Latin name for your ear

The chew of your tongue displayed

For all to see, I used a red to follow your throat

Down to the cave of your stomach, its boiler room walls

The badminton net of your lungs covers a tennis court

Alveoli all stretched out,

bronchi ballooning in my hands

 

*

With your breath the pen flew into

Your diaphragm its weight tipping the scales

Its meat heavy as Shylock’s ounce

The muscles in your legs I’ve massaged

Took apart, become flaccid, bean bag soft

The bicep of your arm tightens, then relaxed

From length to length, from head to toe

Your body’s map.

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About Quad

The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.
This entry was posted in Free verse, Love poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

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