Saturday Poem

In Which the Cartographer tells Off the Rastaman

The cartographer sucks his teeth
and says – every language, even yours,
is a partial map of this world – it is
the man who never learnt the word
‘scrupe’ – sound of silk or chiffon moving
against a floor – such a man would not know
how to listen for the scrupe of his bride’s dress.
And how much life is land to which
we have no access? How much
have we not seen or felt or heard
because there was no word
for it – at least no word we knew?
We speak to navigate ourselves
away from dark corners and we become,
each one of us, cartographers.

by Kei Miller
from The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion
Carcanet, Manchester, 2014