I never made a map to myself, except through poetry.
I am open country not requiring a guide,
unless one wants to summon flora and fauna by name.
That women needed to explain themselves
through an intricate game could be a difference of centuries
between us or lack of artifice on my part. Still, there
are stages to this, a protocol for intimacy.
We begin new, travelling the banks,
but there are towns so pleasant
we might lose our way to the goal.
If we do not stay too long
in the villages, avoid the tangled paths to Perfide,
we will own the keys to that city.
The map of this heart is split by the river Inclination,
which spills wide and unfiltered into passions
too salted to drink. I have charted the twin forks
which lead away from that ocean,
but sink into stone soil.
There are countries we cannot know
if we fear carnality and its razored corals;
La Terre Inconnue heady and hungry
as the open throat of the rose,
yet reefed and thorn-circled
to stop trespass. This country kisses
La Mer Dangereuse; though I have sailed over
similar oceans and found the water less dangerous
and worth skimming, but I do not fear drowning.
***We are writing about trips (sort of) over at dVerse today. I thought I would write about “La Carte du Tendre,” a map of the stations of love, which is an antiquated allegory from the 1600’s, attributed to Mlle. De Scudery and others. If you are interested, you can read about it (sort of) on Wikipedia.