Imago Mundi

Poem by John Ridland

Her mind-map of the world
has shifted back whole centuries,
opening white blanks of terrae incognitae,
which had been filled as sharply as a street map
of Manhattan, or her botanical watercolors.
Now the whole globe of her brain is splotched
continents uninhabited and unnamed.

One day at a time, she, like the sun, rises
in the East, whips overhead and sets, having seen
everything under it, remembering nothing—
except Before The Stroke: those expeditions
with boon companions, in the Good Young Days
deep in her memory, which warms them
over and over while the surface cools.

 


American Arts Quarterly, Spring 2016, Volume 36, Number 2