Back to Issue Eight.

Topography of Not



I read healthy people share treasure,
blueprints, a dead lizard, an inscribed ring.
Names create, shared names unfold
a map of the thing created, complete
with volcanoes, gold mines, sea beds,
puddles, hole-soled shoes, fault lines,
a topography of not, for example
the word daughter. I name my past
daughter, and my daughter is less
secret, more jewelry—The charge
of admitting I gave her up is tourism:
“I went whale watching. Here are the pictures.”
I want to meet her like you did,
and you, and the every other person
I tell what happened, who says they too
didn’t choose, weren’t kept,
but are glad now to share life,
even though life took, takes,
will take without giving its name.

Quinn White‘s poems appear in or are forthcoming in Gargoyle, Sixth Finch, Word Riot, Weave Magazine, Bayou Magazine, and Hot Metal Bridge. Quinn is the author of My Moustache (Dancing Girl Press, 2013).