I read somewhere about a mapmaker who,
Painting the lines of countries, havens,
Borders that ripple back and forth between enemies,
Placed somewhere in the singing ocean
An island for his wife.
In islands, men make worlds to suit their visions: they hide gold,
Or birth a people of pure reason and untouched intellect.
Or they allow them to float unmoored,
(So many “un”s, where islands are concerned),
With all the pointlessness of pleasure boats.
Men tend to believe, too, in cartographic truths,
And will chase anything, provided it comes
Figured with coordinates.
The island of the mapmaker’s wife, though, is safe as El Dorado,
Moored in the floating world of a husband’s imagination.
My husband is no plotter, of islands or otherwise,
But he wrote a love song in the form of a house,
Whose lyrics lie in the quiet of pale floors, the blueness of walls,
And in the sheltered arbor where the world
bursts into sunlight—there—
About the Author: Talya Meyers is a poet and literary journalist. She holds a Ph.D. in English from Stanford and teaches at U.C. Santa Barbara. Talya’s writing addresses two distinct branches: literature and culture; and science, sustainability, and the natural world. When not writing or researching, she can be found making a gleeful mess at a potter’s wheel, at work in her vegetable and xeriscape gardens, and chasing her redheaded toddler, who never stands still.