Transformational Geography
Letitia has no islands.
She declares, upon my map
the oceans of the world are stainless blue.
For in islands, sandbars, reefs, in coral atolls
is the fear of stranding, or being stranded,
of being alone.
Allow the archipelagosí existence
and invite the slow formation of constraint,
the circlement of strangulation.
I will speak , she cries,
and from the perfect center of the sea.
I will cull my sentences to elements;
I will derive my alpha from the deep
and sail it where I will upon the world.
I do not believe tectonics: mountains, ridges, faults
in deep-laid, land-like structure may not be.
Itís water all the way down, my friends, and I
will spin my strings of symbols on the surface,
there to arc and branch and grow.
They will not snag and ravel upon Corsica
or Naxos, or the Maldives, or Japan.
And like an aqueous spider,
I will walk upon my web.
My language is my land and I shall walk the oceans
safe upon its narrow silken strand.
The world in all its continental curves
afloat upon its core of map-blue sea
shall bear this isthmal idiolect; this me,
and I shall speak.

Cyd Harrell, 1994. All rights reserved.
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