Map Guy by John Grey

The man has nothing but maps in his head.
So much for eyes.
That’s the Soviet Union before the breakup
looking back at you.
It’s a wonder he can dress himself.
Luckily, his shirt reminds him of Asia,
his jeans are South America
but why aren’t the countries marked?
And when his brain spotlights Peru,
he whistles Andes pipe tunes.
When it’s Switzerland, he yodels.

He has a job… well maps must work.
He would have been a cartographer
but what could fingers do
that his head has not already?
Instead, it’s tending bar at Danny’s
and somehow he gets the mixes right.
Much better than countries do at least.
He’s no clichéd sympathizer though.
He tells the harried husband to invade.
The Maginot line is weak.
A hooker on a stool fixes her lipstick.
It’s the British Empire all over again,
plastering the globe in pink.

He was even married once.
Pretty she was like Europe with the countries colored.
And her body was that other kind of map…
relief… with mountains circled, plains marked clearly,
forests green as hands that only know the world in outline.
He made love tentatively, carefully,
like he was making the world safe for geography.


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