Dear God of Maps

Dear God of Maps,
I can’t find you.

You never provide the directions that I need.
You show the coffeeshop
but not the vacancy of palms.
You show my apartment
but not my torn vocal chords.
You show the ocean
but not the men who breathe its water.

Dear God of Maps,
how you misguide me.
Whenever I follow you
I find myself in the wrong places:
in the wrong state,
the wrong forest;
in the wrong toilet stall
of the wrong bar;
in the pit of the wrong heart.

Forgive me,
I only use the maps I have drawn myself.
My hands are not steady,
especially on Thursdays,
when I pass temples
of neon lights and stained ceilings.

Dear God of Maps,
I find myself alone
whenever I use the same map
to discover a new landscape.
I used a map of Colorado to drive across Wyoming.
I used the map of one lover
to explore the countryside of another.

Dear God of Maps,
you collection of short stories:
Maps of valleys are stories of separation.
Maps of rivers, stories of loss.
Maps of oceans, mysteries.
Maps of mountains, love stories.

How many maps have been drawn on my body.
The four love stories of knuckles
pounded into the parchment of my skin.
The valleys between handbones,
the rivers of my cheeks.
Maps of deep oceans all over my body.

I forgive him,
the same way you’ll forgive me
for being a lost cartographer,
a mapmaker without a compass.

Amen.

 

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