The Map of Absence

Time itself, folded like a map,
with its sixteen pleats, its quarto charm.

Notice the names of lakes: Ontario, Erie.
And the rivers: Hudson, Housatonic.
About the map,
the route between your city and mine
is traced by the finger of the moon;

Unfolding the night, we have to consult
the legend:
distances in threes;
faces of worship, yes;
state parks bordered in lace.

All cities face the stars.
I want the map to tell me we are near,
want the sentences to end in periods, not in ellipses,
these poppy seeds rolling in a crease.

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