Back to Issue Ten.

Maps of Places Drawn to Scale


Ten minutes from a two-week vacation,
a van flips on an exit ramp.  In a small town,
the van is bigger. On the highway,
it’s just a van, heading toward a hotel.  This
is global positioning: a man is ejected and the van
lands on top of him.  In a small town, a priest
knows the man’s name, but Death does not
concern itself with formalities.  It also does not take
the man whole: only his legs and anything else
it can grab below the waist.  At a Chinese buffet,
Death is stuffing her cheeks
with crab rangoons, while a family
stands behind her with empty plates.  Nobody stuck
to the vinyl booth finds “You will suffer”
inside their cookie, but it’s implied
in the parking lot.  A child breaks free
from her mother’s arms and runs head-first
into traffic.  In the city, there are always
detours.  But in a small town, there’s one
name for each baby born, and eventually
it’s on the lips of everyone in the street.

Angela Voras-Hills earned her MFA at the University of Massachusetts – Boston, and was a fellow at the Writers’ Room of Boston. Her work has appeared in The Kenyon Review Online, Best New Poets, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Linebreak, among others. She was recently awarded the Sustainable Arts Foundation’s Spring Promise Award, and lives with her husband and two kids in Madison, WI.