The things we draw on maps


Moments of transient beauty.

Words by & illustration by Roxa Noor

The Things We Draw on Maps


There are men who write

where men don’t speak

peaceful revolts

which overthrow bloodthirsty kings

business men who give undeserved gifts

music in the middle of a battlefield

strawberries in the woods

people who meet & understand each other

amazing triumphs of love with no strings attached

There are small precarious paradises

along the path we walk

on the shore of a wild monstrous sea

where it smells like grilled fish

& festive laughter

where we play without rules and balance

in unison on large red hammocks

where we embrace & lose track of time.

Where we forget with cheerful vehemence








He offered me

a handmade box

with floral motifs

and voodoo pins

inside, four tiny children

nailed to my body.

He said: I’m yours

even if required to prick

the bolt between my legs

and that viscera, the heart.

Pessimistic butterflies flew.

I heard their flapping

in the shadows. The snap

of a nonexistent tongue.






Ephemeral Hatchling


A bird lands on my garden.

I know it’s thanks to the discontinuous

pixel movements of its brief

leaps on the grass.

It rummages for supplies

with its childlike beak

between the tiny leaves

on the ground.

The grass, I tell myself, the grass

is where the food is hidden.

I’m about to decipher this mystery,

it’s like the poetic breath that precedes it.

Always something violent, the breeze

blowing stronger,

or the very sensitivity of the hatchling sensing

my garden is a non-garden

a wasteland

a fiction

a reduced green apparition

in the courtyard of the house.

When just like that, the bird

flits― drawing pixels like it arrived,

and disappears.

Then the house faces

the reality of its troublesome stay.

The common everyday trappings

feel enlightened

as if the bird’s ephemeral presence

provided them with fleeting certainties

and endless senses.

Sergio A. Ortiz is a poet, a two-time Pushcart nominee, a four-time Best of the Web nominee, and 2016 Best of the Net nominee. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Valparaiso Poetry Review, Loch Raven Review, Drunk Monkeys, Algebra Of Owls, Free State Review, and The Paragon Journal.