Last Night at the Library

You recite the bones of the body
as though it were a poem.
Patella, femur, coccyx, your eyes
closed, head weaving slightly
as you travel up the body.
Before you can arrive at
the cranial borders, I put
down Conrad and lean
against you. You ask what
I’ve been reading, and I tell you
it’s the death of geographical
mystery, when the last white patches
of the atlas were shaded in
and the dark corners of the world
were given names. Maybe
we shouldn’t know where
all rivers begin. Maybe there
should be some native tongues
without translations. I want
to hear drums in the jungle,
I say, to hear the Earth’s
wild heartbeat. You press
my head to your chest
and help me navigate the pulse,
atrium, ventricle, aorta,
as I close my eyes and discover
a land where true believers still
eat the bodies of their gods.

– Traci Brimhall


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