Desire makes us face ourselves. The selves
we keep at bay want to break out of our bodies.
I wonder if the saying that women cannot read maps is meant
to keep us from venturing out on our own.
Maps are guides to our dreams,
where we want to go and who we want to be.
I heard a crack that sounded
like a thunderbolt, but it was not the sky.
Dust blows in the wind to faraway places, washed
out to sea and rolled back to shore.
Maps hold the stories of our lives, a record
of journeys into the unknown.
I leave it for the waves to reclaim, the sand to fill,
the hole I make in my wake.
Teow Lim Goh is the author of Islanders (Conundrum Press, 2016), a volume of poems on the history of Chinese exclusion at the Angel Island Immigration Station. Her work has been featured in Tin House, Catapult, PBS NewsHour, Colorado Public Radio, and The New Yorker. She lives in Denver.