December 7, 2009

DéLana R.A. Dameron

CARTOGRAPHER

You believe my body a map. It is
an island to which you flock only to lose yourself,

to find solace or right angles to answer
the simple question: how do you get

from where you are, to here—the heart.
You walk the streets blind and don’t know

on which side of my waist the sun
will set, or that the route you charted

will take you nowhere you intended
to go. You’re lost and call me

all hours of the morning for direction. But
roads you travel lead up and out. Traffic lights

say, go. Here is the red line that runs the length
of my body. Because you study maps, you believe

this is the key. It is nothing more
than my heart saying pass through, pass

through. Lover, there is no more land,
no more West. There is no place for you to stay.

from Rattle #31, Summer 2009
Tribute to African American Poets