grids the haphazard landscape into restrained
geometries, bulges and sandstone hoodoos
smoothed by the benign cursive of contour lines.
But look! --- At the chart's least cluttered corner,
the cartographer abandoned
the desert: a compass rose, its freehand
arabesques transgress the quadrants, a baroque
whimsy of the official pen. I imagine him
stumped by some unmappable beauty, it bucking
his measure, efflorescing in him---.
Fond romantic, I've followed the map farther
than asphalt, taken myself up to the bare
coordinates where the compass rose blooms.
I'm quick to see the cartographer's flourish
as a valentine, quicker to want what beauty
forced its mark here, to lose my bearings by it:
let my north be this rosy seduction
of sandstone flashed with quartz, my east that far, high mountain
My dear cartographer, how misplaced our faith
in the compass rose, as if its love-knot
could fix beauty. As if it marked anything
but the heart's excesses. My own heart surges
to pitch its rococo against the map's hard facts.
It is willing to break itself to flower.
 The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word, "awful" and its various meanings depending on the context or historical moment. In this context "awful" is intentionally ambiguous. The potentially applicable definitions include:
1. Causing dread; terrible, dreadful, appalling.
 The United States Geological Survey offers regional maps dating back to the 19th century. If you would like to get an idea of the landscape of this poem, search "Zion National Park" or "Bryce Canyon National Park," for the best approximation.
 This article gives the history of the boutonnière and its historical and symbolic significance.
 This article illustrates how these orienteering tools are used.
 This song by Hamilton Liethauser evokes much of the romantic wilderness imagery associated with this poem and its use of the word, "heartstruck." The music video for "Heartstruck" is shot in Marfa, in southwest Texas, which has a landscape similar to Utah, where the poet resides.
 There is a long history in English poetry of comparing the word poesy or poesies, to the flowers known as poesies. This is used as both a pun and a metaphor equating poems to flowers. This piece by famous Renaissance author Sir Philip Sydney discusses the significance of this word and its associated genre.
 This phrase evokes biblical imagery, specifically the Devil's temptation of Christ in the wilderness. These episodes inspired Milton's Paradise Regain'd.