"Map" by Willow Loveday Little
A maze mouths a non-linear A to B, a linguistic start
To end but a labyrinth spirals inward ad infinitum
In effect unicursal as a whorl of hair on a baby’s head
Or male pattern baldness. Beyond these walls
Is something universal, something procrustean as
The bandits he killed in six feats sinuous in comparison
To those of Heracles—a starter exercise for the calf,
Before anything tauromorphic. You've made your bed
Beneath a bucranium wreathed in stone, and here comes the
Time for you to sleep in it, dreaming your own heraldic mythos
While bull-fucked fate rears its horns. Crypto-Minoan idioms.
Cypro-sealstone guides crowning walls. A lifeline
Cannot be too short. Neither too long. Madness the indecipherable
Syllabary. Single-pathed meandros a lifetime without
Navigational challenge—complex and branching inward is destiny
Inevitable as psychopomp or apotheosis and as pointless
As Ariadne's domesticated thread washing up golden in the tides
Of a forgotten alphabet. Fitted sheets, compass-less.
Willow Loveday Little is a writer, poet, teacher, and freelance editor whose work has appeared in places like The Dalhousie Review, On Spec, The Selkie’s anthology Very Much Alive: Stories of Resilience, and yolk literary. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from McGill University and has been a featured reader at McGill’s Poetry Matters, Argo Reading Series, the Visual Learning Centre, and Accent Poetry Night. She is the author of Xenia (Cactus Press, 2021).