Beware, my friend, of people who mistake | the map for the land | Shun their company | or indulge in it only very carefully | for in essence all they do is waste their time | She broods on the secret of herself | as anyone does | but it’s her I notice | And so the sentences roll out | it is a meeting of sorts | the policy is shaped | night over the desert sands, dark Arabia | In an era of multiplying hatreds | fortunate are those who may live peacefully and read books | So sorry to be late writing this letter: if only I could tell you everything | but the carriages wouldn’t couple | the moon was full and very bright, they say | it isn’t mysterious

It wasn’t that we lost our way, so much, as that | there wasn’t a way | We slipped into a side street | like unwitting spies | Jojo was funny, as ever, he said | Someone must know where Costa Rica is | adding | Costa Ricans, presumably | Earlier, in the bedroom, as we untangled ourselves from each other | the mosquitoes were terrible | in the gloom above our heads | mothers flew, freighted with our blood | for their young | They had measured the sun into its correct position | the angle was bad for us, making it hard to read | Words aren’t the finished products | you said | They’re always prototypes, blueprints — they never turn out as we planned | Two months later, they closed the border | the victims on the wrong side | The map is not the land••

from the series fleeting pixel (series of 1,000 poems, 2012–2016)
(this poem, March 2015)