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POETRY ON THE BOOKSHELF

Projection

Anna M. Evans

You tell me to stop saying sorry that
the known map is drawn from
the Mercator solution,
                         not the Peters alternative.

You won’t let me blame Geometry
for sliding her mirror into a gilded frame
to show the face I recognize best:
                                                  a white face.
As if all the ice in Greenland could cover Africa,
as if Alaska’s drifts could put Brazil in snowsuits.

I know everything speaks: statistics, laws, housing
prices, navigation tools.
Each dollar sign a megaphone.

You ask the question quietly now:
how would I feel to see the country
of my origin short-changed by cartography?

The excuses are as reliable as the tide:
sailors need to know distances
and directions, or the sea’s tyranny
would enslave us all; projections are just
at their most distorted
near the poles.

You and I are poles apart.
You tell me to stop saying sorry that
my Europe squats at the hub of the world,
an old white man mugging for the mirror.







Anna M. Evans, who has a master’s degree in chemical engineering from Imperial College, London, is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Swimming and Selected Sonnets (Maverick Duck Press, 2006 and 2008). She is the editor of The Raintown Review and contributing/online editor for the The Schuylkill Valley Journal. A former president of the Burlington County Poets of New Jersey and a member of the Quick and Dirty Poets, she teaches writing at Richard Stockton College of New Jersey and poetry at the West Windsor Art Center. More of her work can be found at www.annamevans.com.



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