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...In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that matched it point for point. Less attentive to the Study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of Sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Discipline of Geography.
- From Travels of Praiseworthy Men (1658) by J.A. Suárez Miranda

piece of tape holding the paper to the corkboard

The moon came up and the sun went down. The moonbeams went shattering down to the ground and the jackalope wives took off their skins and danced.
They danced like young deer pawing the ground, they danced like devils let out of hell for the evening. They swung their hips and pranced and drank their fill of cactus–fruit wine.

green tack

God, give us a long winter
and quiet music and patient mouths
and a little pride- before
our age ends.
Give us astonishment
and a flame, high, bright

I Missed You

I came late to the realization you can be tender with people recklessly, or maybe I came early to the moment you realize the ecstasy of earnestness. Repeated like a soldier from the trenches, holding the face of someone that’s managed to wedge up into your ribcage and settled under the heart: It is an honor knowing you. A pleasure to have met. Sometimes, it’s hard for me to tell people the way I love, friendship as the whole meal, dizzyingly lovely.

One of the joys of my youth was a trip to a set of islands, a group of young people busing and then boating and forfeited to drinking and pantomiming bad college movies. That is not the story. The story is the bus ride back, an enormous rumbling thing with aisles like Madeline and the two straight lines. I was making a friend, I had been in the process of making a friend, easing into a newness in the standard way of planting and watering and watching it grow.

You though, my friend, were seated away and it shouldn’t matter. It was only an hour. An hour of someone else I didn’t know and placing my head against the window thinking the time was wasted. I wanted to talk to you again about the concepts of time and childhood and watching My Little Pony on VHS. I wanted to waste some words on you instead.

I got off the bus after an hour or so, and blurted out, foolishly, silly, accidentally: “I missed you.” I missed you. I missed you. It was only an hour, and I missed you. My face burned. Children think the world ends with their personal actions, and our culture says sincerity is a form of sinking. Vulnerability as an offering up of the throat. We met only weeks ago, I missed you, it was only an hour apart, I missed you.

They, you, my friend blinked back tears and said: “Really? I missed you too.”