Peter Grandbois

This hungry map

“Every sensitive person carries in himself old cities enclosed by ancient walls”

—Robert Walser (1878-1956)

 

Inside, no room for breath.

 
And a muddy field everywhere

 
By what mouth do I leave this city

 
What voice will scale this fearful

 
How to answer the question

 
This maze of rooms

 
This endless hall of regrets

 
Into tiny rivulets that bloom

 
Through the long darkness

 
Think how to unfold

 
How to imagine an other

 
Where we could conjure

 
This armada of doors like arms

Outside, the unforgiving paths of rain,

 
around me.

 
when the day is a distance I cannot cross?

 
tower when each translation gets lost?

 
of the body’s walls,

 
made from crippled echoes,

 
where solitude drips

 
into a river flowing

 
between our shadows.

 
this hungry map,

 
tangled world

 
a battering ram to storm

 
and open.

 

 

 

Peter Grandbois is the author of ten books, the most recent of which is half-burnt (Spuyten Duyvil, 2019). His poems, stories, and essays have appeared in over one hundred journals. His plays have been performed in St. Louis, Columbus, Los Angeles, and New York. He is the Poetry Editor for Boulevard magazine and teaches at Denison University in Ohio.

 

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