The World from a Genoese

In 1457, there is his eye—
shaped world, a map, a catalog of beasts
and fish. A dragon and cargo ships off coasts.
A giraffe in Africa spots them.
It sees everything before the mapmaker
begins to think to sketch new territories
or a slave at center earth like the small hand
of a clock at three in the afternoon.
In all the world there’s only one sea
for commerce. The whole world is
the mapmaker’s astigmatism. It’s very dry.
If he blinks, we’ll be washed out and Africa
will never trade with anyone on earth.


Tom Holmes is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose, and in July 2014, he also co-founded RomComPom: A Journal of Romantic Comedy Poetry. He is the author of seven collections of poetry, including, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013 and was released in October 2014. His writings about wine, as well as his poetry book reviews and poetry, can be found at his blog, The Line Break.


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