Autobiography as Cartography

Sandy Longhorn

Years ago, what was given me was this:
a map of my home well folded,
creased along gossamer bloodlines,
faint veins etched in quicksilver
that killed the draftsmen who licked
the poisoned nib to clean.

Though I searched, no collector
of ephemera could redraw the lines
and smooth the edges flat, no matter
the amount of time spent in study.
I was left to decipher defective
legends smashed and rambling.

Dealing in the vintage architecture
of memory, I dipped my own pen
in the mercury and sketched a house
in a field gone brown with drought,
heat waves vacillating in the distance,
all the doors and windows opening.