Street View

Street View

By Kerrin Mccadden

I Google where I come from in Ireland,
drag the yellow man into street view
and click the spin arrow over and over
so I can see it all. When I pull him off
the control panel, above his + and – ,
he flies, a patch of green hovering
below him, his own flying island, his little
earth shadow, smudged at the edges,
the earth-map ocean below pulling
at its beaches, my index finger’s pad
the moon, my hand the god I am not,
though here in my village home, sturdy
and clap boarded, I am a kind of one
who can see across the world,
move a little man to where I want him,
spin him, and see what he sees, my Flex-Steel
Sofa and hassock my cloud bank god office.
If the phone rings, I will ignore it,
will hear the cars sighing through the village
like a lover sleeping, breathing in
and out like the waves on the flying island,
or the breathing of parlor pipes, the elbow
pressing its lung like fast-motion tides pull oceans
into plastic shapes, the peaks of them—
a god pinching a blanket into a fort.
He flies, and for a minute, because I can,
I flip him back and forth, dangle him
from his pivot head, his legs flipping
left and right, his arms back a bit,
like I am leading on the dance floor
and I have dipped him, the small of his back
arched, his arms not reaching out to save
himself—his feet no things for walking on
his face no place for features. Then, the veins
of roads fill with blue, and if I drop him into one,
the earth will flip from map to street view
and I will see out of my man’s eyes,
and where was he all my life? I walk
him around far out toward the bog land,
where Google shows so little green,
more brown as the hills climb toward
the border with Northern Ireland, stop shy
of the wind farm’s five pylons, and I lift
my finger to drop him there, right in front
of the no-roof old house, which in map view
looks like a sheepfold, its roof long fallen
and rotted back in—a busted shoe box
full of derelict farm tools. I look for a way
to rebuild it, think five-gallon buckets
and some lime-wash, a new thatched roof.
I can do the metal kind myself, on my knees,
loving the world from above it, grabbing onto
the ladder to steady the vertigo, and though
he has no hands, I watch him scrape and smear
rough clay onto walls with a bullnose trowel,
each stroke burying perlite into the water
of the mix, the smoothest surface the one
longest touched. I can tell by the way
he does not look at me that soon he will
want me to start on the roof and the door,
and that while I have always been an insect
trapped inside a car, gone for a drive
that seemed a moment’s thought, gone instead
to Florida, or the moon, the whole world
wrong once I was released, it seems that we
are a likely pair.

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