From the Google Maps Car
In the end, all maps, self-led by vestigial scent,
melted or forgotten, caressing their digital sisters—
the ones with aptitudes, subtracting the call of danger—fail
to render. The mapmaker pretends to engross in
topography, moves out of state, divorces & takes
up with a sultry 3rd dimension, sprawling in her loft & breathing
cigarettes of middling price & quality. They make love.
Sibling to yawning July, the drought built to last.
The photographer skirts the outskirts, compiling as he
pleases: their streets, their sisters, the upset grass,
the amoebae in the sky—always so far?
He learns that content & content
are not always the same; his sister morphs into
a mailbox (empty). I have no interest in the Messiah, he says,
unless He creeps into Street View
rifling his leaflets & then I’d have to digitally scan Him.
The 3-D version, still in development,
will include an immersive Danger Zone—
we can’t get to Syria, except by the News,
which is a different design—
there is no tab, a simulation will have to suffice:
the pucker of loosened gravity,
the click & drag & drag & drag . . .
The photographer, which is us, spares no one,
remembers his father mostly for the cigarettes,
he bridges the gaps in memory with real dyslexia.
What street, what ‘burb could surmount the creeping din:
explosions of nothing, words of nothing,
each surveyed road calling ghosts too stupid,
too gone to cry out: Google Map for a Google Earth?
Somewhere out west, two hours from where he was conceived,
then born, then switched into a long range
of broken sisters, the cropped shadows, chopped pixels,
he sees another. I have too many grounds yet to cover, he says,
I am misunderstood.