Sunday Jul 14

MillsTyler Tyler Mills is the author of Tongue Lyre, winner of the 2011 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry First Book Award (SIU Press, 2013). Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, the Believer, and the Boston Review, and her essays have appeared in the Robert Frost Review and the Writer’s Chronicle. She has been the recipient of scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writer’s Conference and the Vermont Studio Center. A graduate of the University of Maryland (MFA, poetry), she is working toward a PhD in creative writing at the University of Illinois-Chicago and is editor-in-chief of The Account: A Journal of Poetry, Prose, and Thought.



Two-six, approaching ground zero.

All test islands seem swept clean.

Elugelab is calm.

Nothing there but water

and what appears to be a crater.

Try zooming out for a broader look.

Water dark blue in color.

Fourteen Pentagon buildings

could be comfortable inside of this hole.


There is so much more that could have been said.

We don’t have imagery.

I have sort of an inadequate feeling.


Map is not in my thesaurus.
Many is uncountable, a crowd.
And mar: mutilate, scar, and stain.

Map would be inlayed between them—
a plan in detail of the numberless
bacteria collecting on the skin

of coconut milk swirling in a shell.
Coral is a kind of skeleton
alive in the sea. It can cut your hands.

It surrounds a lagoon. Map
offers a place as though it’s owned by water.
There is no better flag.

Do the math. Draw a circle. A fisherman
pulling up ink-wet crabs
clinging to a net of hemp rope

will think it’s strange to see the sun
rising in the west. Sea stars. Chart the radius.
Map will always come before scar.