Navigating the Sea, by Way of the Sky

by Amber Edmondson

Show me the women
with maps for faces.
Show me their compass rose.
Show me the roads
they’ve walked, piles
of stones, fields
left for lambs quarters,
stinging nettle, dirt
scraped under nails.

Show me the women
with constellations for names. Show me black holes. Show me
the stars that form their clavicles,
that glow behind
their skin, the lanterns
of their bodies
shaming fireflies,
incandescent bulbs beneath
sway-backed porches.

Show me the women
showing the mapmaker’s hand.
Show me misnamed provinces.
Show me her hips
in two dimensions,
the bones of her thighs aligned
to guide each ship back home.

Amber Edmondson is a book artist who lives on a decommissioned Air Force base. She studied English at Northwestern Michigan College. Publications include The Way North: Collected Upper Peninsula New Works, Dunes Review, and Border Crossing. She has been a runner-up for the William J. Shaw Memorial Prize for Poetry and, in 2013, received three Pushcart nominations. She believes in the ability of the written word to sometimes communicate exactly what we want to say. You can find her work at

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