I clench my fist to draw
a familiar country. The black sea
is guarded and vast, rolling quickly
to scatter its glare. Below,
the metro crosses into itself
like snakes, coiling
strained muscles away
from the center. In the center
is a dark mound I crane my neck
to shove fingers into.
I am looking for the tower
where I worked three summers ago
and the wall which surrounds it
and the precipice which guards it
and the elevator which cradled me
floating. Everyone stops
and begs me to say what I remember,
tell us where we are so we can turn
our heads and continue to be here.
I open my mouth to answer and leak
a string of ink indicating
the newly discovered source
of our river, bitter and thick
where the paper still lies blank.
On its shores a group of shuttles
crawl to an airport by the sea,
crushing paving stones
and elds of sun flowers, migrating
out of memory like birds.
Those were years
none of us faced north,
clutching our white stomachs
like sh seen from below
against watery cold sun,
black hair from above
in wet fluid blankets.
And you traced what you traced.
Now you would be recognized
from ten thousand feet in the air,
thin city grids laid out
on burial grounds, the roaming ones
mapped into unbeing,
new regimes mapped
into existence, paper shadows
summoned by meticulous inking
onto open fields, circumscribed
and sliced even, then sold. Still
the veins are squirming,
pencil etching neat and thinly,
water crumpling ledge,
oil crawling through pipes,
sewage meeting the alluvial gorge
like a metro car expelling
clean bodies between
the clicking of wheels.