I open a map scaled one to one
read it as fast as I can
but cannot catch up with Borges
“Cartographers Guilds struck a Map of the Empire
whose size was that of the Empire,
and which coincided point for point with it.”
Press my torso into garden mud
for a full print. Voilà.
Scatter Pompeii ashes over a volcano
and wait two thousand years.
Paint the Mona Lisa but it’s only
my inept fake (damn, the smile’s crooked).
Shoes, put the left one on the left foot, the right one
correctly aligned with the right big toe. Walk.
Mittens, don’t forget the opposing-thumbed mittens.
Thumbs and toes, toes and thumbs.
Quote from “On Exactitude in Science,” Jorge Luis Borges, https://www.sccs.swarthmore.edu/users/08/bblonder/phys120/docs/borges.pdf
Denise Low, Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09, won a Red Mountain Press Award for Shadow Light. Other books include Jackalope and a memoir, The Turtle’s Beating Heart (Univ. of Nebraska). At Haskell Indian Nations Univ. she founded the creative writing program. She teaches for Baker Univ. and lives on Tsuno Mountain. www.deniselow.net