The imaginary cities of my youth
It turns out a handful
were painstakingly crafted in miniature
by a loose collection of savants in the attics of Vienna,
the rest are nestled in the valleys
that crinkle the foothills of the Carpathians.
Each contains a building on its outskirts
housing an identical wooden spindle chair
painted an inexplicable shade of red.
In some circles, this would be considered
a type of necklace.
An atlas containing photogravure
maps and detailed city plans
though it has been mislaid
in a bookstore in Buenos Aires,
erroneously filed under
fiction where it has since been
swallowed by contemporary mystery.
Given that a cat’s tongue
is the cleanest thing in nature
for centuries the women of the Gøeshtl hinterland
have used that sandpapery pink
for ritual cleansing and exfoliation.
When it comes to the subject of human
geography my peninsula extends
precariously into the cold
waters of the North Sea.
The bay that constitutes
your psyche is shallow and considerably
more storm-tossed than surrounding waters. Also,
your imaginary cities do not exist.
We waited until the credits rolled to confirm this.
But these cities do not exist
anywhere. We seem to have reached an impasse
here, an impregnable space
between the reader and her intended
progress—but in all likelihood
it is not due to the tiny
avalanche that recently cascaded
down those papier-mâché mountains
in a Viennese garret. No,
that was simply a handful of loose gravel
and will be swept clean by whisk broom and dustpan
proving no impediment to anyone whatsoever.