Map by Polyxeni Angelis

In this world I only know the lines on your face
after grief made you breakable, the cartography of your pain
scaled in days, months, years.
I know the way your eyes shine,
after the solitude that became your beacon
glowed a different kind of light.
In another world I bandaged your fingers
when you picked up the broken glass,
and blew hope into your lungs
when your chest caved from the blow.
Here, I carry my sadness along with yours,
different patterns embedded in soft cloth,
and will someday bury them side by side in the red earth,
bend branches into two crude crosses
and write your name on the side of a mountain,
build a house on the uneven terrain, imagine the mornings,
foggy sunrises with your breath in my ear, your leg over mine.
Some days I’ll wake to the sound of your strumming,
the notes like a birdsong, and I will recall how I was, alone without you.
I will stare while you read and sip your coffee
and not take for granted the way
your finger moves under each word.
You turn a page, mumble what a world,
run your hand over your face
and through your hair, then look up at me,
say take a picture it lasts longer,
and I will feel an intoxication
reserved for the very drunk or the very lovesick,
there, beside some mountain,
where I’ve written your name in verse,
forward and backward,
in rhyme, in symbols, in haiku.


Polyxeni Angelis was born in Athens, Greece. She emigrated from Greece to America with her family in 1967. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Minnesota. Her work has appeared in the 2011 Montreal Prize Global Poetry Anthology. Writing is her passion. She resides in Minnesota with her son.



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