The Map

Applying to Heavy Equipment School
I marched farther into the Great Plains
And refused to come out.
I threw up a few scaffolds of disinterest.
Around me in the fields, the hogs grunted
And lay on their sides.

You came with a little water and went away.
The glass is still on the table,
And the paper,
And the burned scaffolds.
You were bent over the sink, washing your stockings.
I came up behind you like the night sky behind the town.
You stood frowning at your knuckles
And did not speak.
At night I lie still, like Bolivia.
My furnaces turn blue.
My forests go dark.
You are a low range of hills, a Paraguay.
Now the clouds cover us both.
It is raining and the movie houses are open.

Larry Levis, “The Map” from The Afterlife (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1977). Reprinted with the permission of Sheila Brady.
Source: The A (University of Iowa Press, 1977)