In childhood, you thought that the world
could be had: consumed like cut-up melon.
Looking at the map curling up the classroom wall—
its gradient landmasses and oceans—
you thought, what sort of life
could be small enough to fit on paper?
You are dismayed by your inheritance:
this ripe, indehiscent stone wielding vast
and pneumatic promises.
Yet to learn of topographical pleasures,
like the word sentience pertaining to your own sentience,
you find no reason to trust this mass, which
splays open like liquid spills.
See how it melts to wax and then hardens back:
the farther you go the smaller you get.
You know this paper, this pepo rind, this
theatre orbited by prayers, planes, and wireless:
see rivers of alluvial feeling made spacious by liquid,
by a child tracing the body of the ocean in blue crayon.
As the moon wanes and waxes,
you search for places that lack ceremony, and find
rusting patinas that are rituals of the planet
and rituals of your own.
You will learn that things least consumable
live on paper. In fact, it is the wide world that spins, not you.