Development

poetry 0
Melissa Ginsburg

 

The property line widened like a spreading stain.

Drank ink and swelled into map. The line held

the land like an unborn child. Then: pavement crawled

forward. Crawled away. It spread along the land

everywhere it went. It crawled like a child:

on the ground. Wherever it went it lay down

like light it scattered like seed. The creek

it forded. Then lined. Diverted and crosshatched

the map. The map lay flat. The sky stood on stilts

and peered through its vaults: blades, blossoms, trees with nests.

the unhatched hold the sky off the map. Lift it above

the child on the ground, the scatter of seeds. The future

made by the feathers of birds. Fill

a pillow, sew it shut, lay the past down to rest.

Melissa Ginsburg is the author of the poetry collections Doll Apollo, forthcoming from LSU Press, and Dear Weather Ghost, three poetry chapbooks, and the novels The House Uptown and Sunset City. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, West Branch, Fence, Southwest Review, and other magazines. She teaches creative writing and literature at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, and serves as associate editor of Tupelo Quarterly.