Cartography

you make a choice each day
to live west
of the Mississippi
where no family member has dwelled

the reason shifts
with the decades
he’s 60 today and you haven’t spoken
in over a quarter century

some unnameable
silent anguish
medicated with sauce and song
led you here

a river
and the soul
of its second largest city
keep you here

what if next time
you open Google Maps
the home icon
has moved to a location

you can no longer identify
and you have no paper map
to unfold and fumble to refold
as a crooked mnemonic

what if you have only one heart
pin to drop

what if the snow globe falls
off the window sill
and no one’s there
to catch it

would the broken glass
and chips of porcelain or human bone
scattered on the hardwood floor
navigate you

to some island
kissed by
or swimming in
the Atlantic Ocean

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