When I was young, my friend said, I have a geographical tongue –
and opened wide to let me examine
a map cracked deep into pink sponge, roads
laid out in the whale-belly of her mouth.
At the same time, my fingers would go numb, turn white.
I rubbed them like I was referring to money or playing castanets.
The doctor said hers was a slight
anomaly, but mine meant a lifetime of thumbing along the road.
We were eight years old. So we climbed
the nearest tree and sat under the rib cage of sky.
She with the map