Blue rivers flowing across the parchment,
As the tributary lacing of veins crawling up your arms.
A maze of tar splitting the page,
Like the imperfections of wrinkles under your eyes.
The clutter of urbanisation scattered on the paper,
With the unpredictable appearances of freckles on your body.
An enigmatic aura radiating from the map,
As erratic as the emotions hidden by your façade.
Masked by the imperious assuage of confidence and command.
Hiding a fractured soul.
This poem was awarded First Place (Secondary) for Poetry Object 2018
In ‘Mapping Love’ we are presented with an object that refuses to resolve into a single, clear image. What we see before us is equally the province of page and skin: both ‘Blue rivers flowing across the parchment’ and ‘the tributary lacing of veins crawling up your arms’; both ‘A maze of tar splitting the page’ and ‘the imperfections of wrinkles under your eyes’.
The poet gracefully and powerfully shows how poetic language—through simile, metaphor and ambiguity—allows two or more different realities to inhabit each other; so that a map can be a body, and a body can be a map, both occupying, simultaneously, the same space and time.
~ Bella Li, Judge, Poetry Object 2018
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