45. False Maps
Long flight without alarm. Carried by clouds
to a secluded spot on the lone border
between three worlds, he lands. And then at night
he strokes the alpine glacier, puts his tongue
to Jungfrau’s breast, because a great green river
that talks to him, that squirms and spits up foam
now cuts across the city. Of three worlds
we know but two, this third is fog, concealed
inside your locket, in a moldy nut.
So with his tongue each day he checks the fate
of those who’ll sleep upon the river’s bed,
each day pretends he’s tourist, scholar, art fanatic,
each day buys a map and scans it for
a spot, a printing error, a false country.