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Dan Beachy-Quick
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     Mappemundi. That word: I meant
     To anchor myself in song with song.
     Adrift, I sang shoals at the margin. No,
     I sang depth, I mean. I thought myself
     Past the margin, Why do I hear you laugh?
     I mean
                 I only spoke no Sirens
     When the waves calmed me and no
     Monsters when the ocean frenzied—
     All was on the page I thought upon.
     I see, Sir, the whale dive past margin.
     I see the world is flat and the map flat
     That records it, and both page and world
     Speak each other forever. Put a fold
     In eternity and it is just as flat and wide.
     Take the map of the world and fold it
     Into a boat and the boat becomes the world.
     If only, Sir, if only the whirlpool sucked
     Through the page into no words—
     There with the whale the world could end.
     Is that what I want? Why I sang?
     Even your “No” is breath cupped in the sail.
     A red pen is rudder, uncapped, red ink
     On horizon is sunrise: delete dawn, /\ shadow,
     /\ shadow at noon.
                              Here’s my submission,
     My last request. I’ve printed my words
     On one side of each page. Now turn each
     Page over. Spread them out on the floor
     Until the floor is blank with no words.
     Spill out into hallway on this wave. Walk it.
     When the blank page ends in white tile
     You won’t notice. When you walk out
     The glass door the taxi’s horn will be the hawk
     ’s cry. Out my front door, the traffic is ocean.
     I hate the sunset’s every red ribbon
     Because, untied, they reveal
     A lamp gone out. A day. No oil can be lit
     In a pewter midnight that once burned
     Will never burn again. I see the dark edge
     Of day saline beneath water. No anchor
     In song. The world is flat if the page is flat.
     Delete all. Here’s one country: my hand.
     It seals the envelope. Here’s one country:
     My lips, my tongue. They seal the envelope.
     Suffer whiteness. My white hand in a white cloud.
     My lips white with salt. The white rain—I see it—
     Sings white a lullaby to the milky white ocean
     And the milky white ocean    calms

     It calms as it dives down.

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