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Atlas of My World: poems by Juan Pablo Mobili

world map, rich gold on deep red background, image by Prawny, on Pixabay

world map, image by Prawny, on Pixabay

What Happens in the Woods

The hawk perches

on the wheel of the bicycle

abandoned in the woods.

I wonder if he thinks

it is a throne or the nest

of a species

he never hunted for,

curious about what bird

would have her children

rest on rust, or build

such a hard home

so close to the ground.

No one knows

what happened to the rider

but the frame

covered with moss

tells an old story,

what happened

years since the wheel

spun or the hawk

was old enough to fly alone.

I prefer to imagine

that whoever rode the bicycle

went on to a better life.

The alternative is frightening.

I wish the rider were a hawk too,

determined to spread his wings

and leave the past behind.


Atlas of My World

Among the things that I can’t find,

I seemed to have misplaced the atlas of my life,

except for a map that only depicts my mother.

Her passion is bright yellow, the tone of

what happened is opaque, and her childhood’s

a small province within a huge empire.

I am the small island near the shore where

she stood missing me. It’s hard to tell my color

since it changes as I become less self-involved.

The beaches to the North are rockier with regrets,

but in its small forest, I can hear

my mother sing.


Juan Pablo Mobili was born in Buenos Aires, and adopted by New York. His poems appear or will

be appearing in The American Journal of Poetry,

Hanging Loose Press, South Florida Poetry Journal, Louisville Review, Impspired (UK), The Wild Word (Germany), and Otoliths (Australia), among others.

His work received an Honorable Mention from the International Human Rights Art Festival, and multiple nominations for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. His chapbook, “Contraband,” was published in 2022, and he’s the Guest Editor for The Banyan Review’s

Spring 2023 issue.

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