Here, the new world does not exist, lies somewhere
beyond the borders of vegetation, globed fruits:
grapes, melons, apples, the known demarcations.
Somewhere in Corsica, my ancestors
work the land, raise olives, picking them by hand
from twisted trees. Time’s cartographer has been at work
on the parchment of their skin; rivers and their tributaries
run blue towards the sea down the delta of their hands.
He has etched the province of their mouths and the forehead’s terrain
with parallel lines, prime meridians. Their world does not extend
beyond day’s end, the glass of grappa, food put by for winter,
burlap sacks of chestnuts resting by the stove. How could they imagine
a passport, red and gold, the towering stone forests of the terra nova
that would one day fill the horizon past the railing of the SS Nord America,
where a small eleven-year-old girl, my grandmother, recorded only
as part of the baggage of her uncle Gaetano, finally reaches the shore.