Poetry & Prose


“Generally good
but today has been hard.
We are packing up his apartment.”

I’m lost in my limited lexicon.
the map I have makes no sense.
Where do I lie on this absurd attempt
To confine existence to bidimensionality?
Where is north?

How can I console a cousin
sharing the same longitudinal coordinates
of family and friend and sister-twin
but our latitudes have shifted,
moving forward, onward,
a daughter with a key to new legends
I can’t interpret just yet.

How can I console a father
after his readings have realigned?
Now his best friend, Irish twin, true north
walks towards a new magnetic pole.

How can I find solace
when I can’t prepare myself for the contour lines
before we collide?
Holding my flashlight up above
I unfold the creases to find
my map is missing an uncle-sized chunk.
Straining to pull the jagged edges together—
this parchment delineation of family
minus one tree branch.

I breathe, and breathe, and breathe,
fill the space’s place to complete capacity
in: promises kept, portraits adorned, patents pending,
and out: borders forgotten, maps redrawn.

Art by Sarah Kotis and Tess Dennison.

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