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Opening a saved dictionary from the old barn,

butchered by some angry missionary

or preacher's kid who was mad at God,

taking teenaged fury out on the cover, now gone,

and all words beginning with A,


except those from away to azymous,

sliced fragments of availableness

to avowance, cut to the meticulous binding

at awake, but including axis, Aymara,

and a simple line drawing of Azalea.


Fragments of definitions are falling

while I look up suburb

as a piece of the EQUATOR, without the E

flutters down in four ragged bits of text

sticking to the floor, like meager confetti,

the only complete words, a jumbled message

including away, literally, home, from,

temptation, and written.


One clue is an incomplete map,

also cut, torn, then folded with British Isles

in blue, green, pink, and a scale in Statute Miles.

On the other side of the fold, grey France, grey Norway,

and Switzerland so small and yellow,

below Germany, still divided into

East and West, in the only red words.

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