is an online magazine of the literary arts.

16 January 2008 | Vol. 7, No. 4

The New Rand McNally World Atlas, C6 210

Like the capital of Tadzhikistan

I long to be a name I neither know

nor can pronounce, a smeared calligraphy

of membrane and breath, an outpost of bone.

Effective immediately,

like a Hoover bagless I hereby suck

all trace of me from earth—my ramshackle

prattle marooned in some distant

acquaintance's head, my memos re:

tapioca, the coughs I've left at rest

stops, my sock puppet arsenal…

When my thumb finds the world's index

the tracks lead back to where I began.

Dushanbe is the capital of Tadzhikistan.

About the author:

Dan Kaplan is the author of the forthcoming book Bill's Formal Complaint (The National Poetry Review Press, spring 2008) and the bilingual chapbook SKIN (Red Hydra Press, 2005). He lives in Portland, Oregon.



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