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Strange Geographies

As a child, I used to cut
apart maps of America,
separate the states and
put them back together
in strange geographies:
Kansas against Maine,
fling the Dakotas as far
away from each other
as they could go, press
New Mexico against the
breast of South Carolina.
I tucked tiny Rhode Island
into the palm of Michigan,
gave Nebraska a seaside.

I realize now the folly
in these stately migrations:
I never thought I’d wish
I could drive across the
border of Alabama into
Oregon’s deep woods.

This poem was originally published under the pen name Gabriel Gadfly.
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