Map of Me
Let’s start by saying this isn’t
a map you’d fold up in a glove box
or pull up on a GPS. And maybe
it’s not a geography anyone wants
to travel. I mean, hell, some days,
even I don’t. It’s just that I started
drawing it one night after too many glasses
of wine, and somebody asking what
I was looking for. He probably meant
in a husband, that loaded question
online dates ask when they are trying
to get laid. I said, there’s a part of me
that wants kids, and I labeled that part
the ovaries. Somewhere mid-terrain.
Meanwhile my brain, up north, kept
saying white carpet, spontaneous sex,
and other childless things. This went back
and forth until I gave up. Zigzagged
random lines, fake boundaries. And now,
anyone looking at me can see that my borders
are always shifting. If you try to read
this like a real map, it is liable to drive
you into a lake. Meanwhile, my roads
go unpaved, my routes unmarked. I probably
have countries inside of me talking secession.
Rebel leaders planning a coup. Uprisings
even the press is too afraid to cover.
And there I am, just sitting and pouring
myself another glass of wine.
Francine Witte is the author of four poetry chapbooks and two full-length collections, Café Crazy and The Theory of Flesh from Kelsay Books. Her flash fiction has appeared in numerous journals and been anthologized in the most recent New Micro (W.W. Norton) Her novella-in-flash The Way of the Wind has just been published by Ad Hoc Fiction, and her full-length collection of flash fiction Dressed All Wrong for This was recently published by Blue Light Press. She lives in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Mark Strodl)