Online Exclusive

Some Maps
Which it watches, where it waits
In cleft or cavern or crevasse
In dolmen or diluvial boulder-hoard
Not the fissure, not the fosse, a flaw
Aniline, amaranth or amethyst
(A purpling perhaps)

Where it wanders from the what
The wherefore knowing only why
(Where it was the will-not-disturb-the-snow)
Was nowhere at any time nothing at all
But nevertheless the no one of it
Aporia, purview, perplex

While it was nowhere, founded, foundry
While it was coin or copper cast upon
Amassed among the midst of it
Was “it,” was she or he or me, a you
Was every proper name but one
No longer lisible

Where it was megalith and menhir, midden
Was mountain, massif, or moraine
A cairn or kurgan on the cliff of it
A scree heaped on the steep of it
Was rubble, ruin, rubbish-heap and history
The underneath unearthed

The what watching it wend, a wave
The sea accomplished in the spray of it
Terrain in the traverse of it
The rendering of the never wasn’t not
The biding and arrive of it
Or nonethemore one noun

The was of where it would have been
In bosk or brake or bush, in bird
The finish at the begin of it
Which it was wishing when-like for
Wind or whisper which was not
The weather of its being when 

Reginald Shepherd (1963–2008) is the author of five books of poetry including Fata MorganaOtherhoodand Some Are Drowning (all University of Pittsburgh).