I've counted your orange hairs
planted the odd ones to your left
the evens to your right
I've opened your eyes to the sun

the wind blew a lock of hair loose
a bird picked it up for a nest
this will happen each spring
there's nothing I can do

each morning still I give you water
each night I give myself drink
and slowly turn yellow
waiting for you to leave this world


When determining distance
between yours and theirs,
don't rely on merchants.

Their world is larger
and more valuable --
fish become armor,

slaves were hairy giants,
purple dye was stolen
from slaughtered dragons,

and wool sheared by Cyclopes.
You can measure a shadow
or calculate the height

of a star if you want,
but on cloudy days
or when lacking measures,

trust your senses --
the windiest places
are nearest oceans and seas,

the most populated lands
are the most important
and therefore the biggest,

if you think mountains
exist, sketch in a range
of binding treaties with spines --

draw the world flat
so boundaries and conflicts
may fold over.

TOM HOLMES is the editor of Redactions: Poetry, Poetics, & Prose, and in July 2014, he also co-founded RomComPom: A Journal of Romantic Comedy Poetry. He is also author of seven collections of poetry, most recently, The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013 was released in October 2014. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: http://thelinebreak.wordpress.com/.