The Ancient Map


From Babylonia we rode

the skeleton of a camel East


you wanted to ride shotgun

so the cleric drew a basket


from snakeskin he found

by the light of the new moon


if it isn't a new moon

you don’t want it, he said


and we believed him and opened

up the parchment tied with


a palm branch taken from the last

tree standing on the entire planet


it was our map

and it told us we would journey


until we reached the end

and the cleric laughed


and said it lies


Joe Love is an artist, a musician, and a poet and teaches writing and literature in St. Louis on both sides of the arch. His work has appeared in or is forthcoming from The Oddville Press, Crack the Spine, Bangalore Review, From the Depths, Drunk Monkeys, Bellowing Ark, and other journals.