Oldest Map of the World
by Kelle Groom
There’s a circle in the center,
a clockface, an eye, but it’s the ring of water
surrounding earth that I dove through for the first time
(I’d always been too claustrophobic, afraid I’d drown
or the force would snap my neck), but it’s like
Perrier, light and bubbling, electrical, so that when
I come through on the other side, I’m laughing.
Fifty miles from Baghdad is the view from Babylon
where the US military builds a helipad and parking lots
on top of what was once one of the seven wonders,
and here we found the first map of the world, made of clay,
so small, it fits in the palm of a hand,
the Euphrates emptying into your wrist,
and to the north, fingers shade the triangles of mountains.
– from Five Kingdoms
I actually reviewed this book for New Madrid!
To read more poems from today’s poetry roundup, click here.