The Map Readers of America
just want to know where they're headed,
and all the fierce and uncommon terrain that spreads
so unevenly on the page. Map-readers
know things about distance:
like how many exit numbers equals
how many more miles to a state's end,
or which off-roads are dead-ends.
A map-reader knows the short cut
from Telluride to Silverton.
They have their inside jokes about
place names: Intercourse, Pennsylvania,
Climax, Bucksnort or Nameless.
Map-readers just want to be
in the driver's seat. They aren't looking
for ancient worlds. Most just want the latest
satellite photos, the current year's atlas
and GPS coordinates. They're just folks
with a love for seeing symbolic logic,
who want to discover the world on their own.
Their one wish is to be at home
within the blue highways of their own veins;
wishing life could keep on morphing
into more mountains. They know
they won't go to all the places they've charted,
but still you can find them scanning through
the margins of state and county
trivia, staring at red interstates, highlighting
forest roads and jeep trails, wondering
what it would be like to live in any other place.