Paper Cities

Michael Berkowitz

As it turned out

the light of creation was the soft glow
of the lamp outside

a general store. One hour to the north,

there is a bend in the Willowemoc known only to fisherman
and map-makers, where

the golden hour hooks the trout, scales refracted silver
below the surface.

Along Route 17 nothing is drawn to scale.

Distances are measured in days and everything slopes

toward the east. When the sun has risen
and the trout have all been caught

and the house behind the general store has been torn down,

what is to say this town on the map
was ever anything more
than some cartographer’s folly?

Michael Berkowitz is a poet, web developer and aspiring trapeze artist living in Somerville, Massachusetts. Some of his recent work has appeared in Bird’s Thumb, Quarterly West, and Tinderbox Poetry.