Had a different map for everything. Some of the maps were nonsense and lead nowhere, other ones seemed to contain all the delicate details that made us work as a couple.
I could only kiss her if I followed a map through a zig zag maze of thorn bush paths and then up a cliff and flip a heavy boulder up with a stick to expose a small ammo box with another map folded up inside it.
Followed those dotted lines for years.
Went grinning stupid to the ends of the lava river earth—jumped burning stone to stone and onto a speeding bullet train propelled through sudden rain.
Oh the sound rain makes when it boils off hot rails.
Or the sound of my laughter looking at a blurry hillside and seeing that the cattle are forming another map, and the direction I am zooming towards has suddenly ended and it is time to leap into a river crashing below.
Other way. Other way.
Other other way. Never gets old.
But I do sext her maps. And text her maps. And even send maps in the teeth of wild horses blasting up the beach anyway, to who knows where those wild horses go. Have even used regular email to send maps. Once called her up on the phone and said, “Check your Christmas stocking hanging on the fireplace … No not in it. The actual stocking. It’s a map.”
If she wants to love me, she has to get to the right place somehow.
I do too. We all do.
That’s what love is.
Getting to the right place.
At exactly the right time.
Magic riddle shot with perfect bullet, and riddle falls over bleeding and spells out next place to go and look for clues to pickup the trail again. High adventure.
Have crawled through the walls of a an abandoned mansion for an entire summer, tracking my way through passages hidden in the heating ducts—space between the walls and insulation, the very floor boards and following a map she drew but didn’t know I knew she drew.
She drew beautiful things to follow through swirling darkness.
I’d wake sometimes and find a map tattooed on my stomach and I’d wonder how I slept through that.
And I left maps too. Even made maps sometimes of the very places where we stood, where we occupied, where we lived.
She’d finish her coffee and almost choke on a message floating in the bottom of the cup:
“Out Door! Sixty thousand and one steps north, climb ivy vine into purple clouds, race setting sun’s shadow for clues projected on the outstretched canyon.”
“Oh I love you,” she said, biting my lip as the kiss ended. And she’d run out the door.
I’d be alone again.
But there were always maps. Could only fuck correctly crashing together when our separate maps intersected by random interjection.
Called being alive.
We even broke up, briefly, via a series of convoluted maps. But convoluted is worth it.
Had a map of the hospital. Had a map out of the graveyard. Had my guts cut out and different guts put back in to save me. One map had a breast removed off of her and the cancer was black gum terror and we ran in different directions through life’s green spring new fog.
But a map in the morning explains that she is gone and there is probably no way of finding her.
Map of sailboat mapping out blue waters.
Well here is map of my fingerprints spinning the globe of the world.
And here I am on the side of a building, dangling with suction cups, making this coded map that looks like a story. And it’s not for you.
It’s for her, wherever she is, to figure out how to find me and the next map.
It’s all here.
Map of everything leading to us.