World Map

by David Peak


a squirrel hangs from a window ledge,
hangs like he was harnessed there.
i watch him hang there, from a window ledge,
his tail wags from side to side, pendulous.

squirrels twitch with fear,
they are cowards, yellow.
they skitter behind walls.
they come inside when it is cold.


my shower curtain is a world map,
translucent vinyl, countries like globs of pastel paint.
i see the world backwards.
my puckered fingers trace the arched coastline of lake michigan.

the lake is frozen, covered with yellow ice.
i come from across the lake
where there are squirrels just like these squirrels.
i remember where i am from.
i can’t help but remember where i am from.


the sun is yellow
though it does not hide on some days.
and on these days
i hear the squirrels in my walls
like memories rattling
in a coffee can.

David Peak lives and works in Chicago. His work has appeared in Lamination Colony, Dark Sky Magazine, and Hair Trigger, among others. He has work forthcoming in Doorways Magazine and Somnambulist Quarterly. He believes in ghosts. Read more about him at

Back to Issue Two: Winter 2009