Torsional Cartography

Doodle meander lines for a new island.
Indent harbors and jut peninsulas
with a bend of your pen.
Snake waterways through the hachured uplands,
so they flow into the unmarked ocean
surrounding your Elysium.
Shade township sprawl –
(this is where people live).
Reflect on Rand McNally’s borders,
how they bulge in rhythm with the most obvious contours.

Then, add a cartogram of the wood-paneled basement
where you first got drunk.
Point out the elevation of the rusty monkey bars
under which you stole your first kiss.
Include the topographic of the tidal pond’s back shore
where one late night you walked aimlessly for hours,
sobbing for no discernible reason at all.

Inside these elaborate legends,
toponyms can still pivot and twist,
cadastral projections are
unrestrained by longitude or latitude,
and the over-edge of the planet is still a razor,
where maybe and maybe not
are scaled to mean the same thing.

© 2020 Ben Woll
Image Source: “Cartography” by Kae Yamane