A Map to the Next World

Poems and Tales

In her fifth book, Joy Harjo, one of our foremost Native American voices, melds memories, dream visions, myths, and stories from America's brutal history into a poetic whole.

A Map to the Next World by Joy Harjo

All my life I have entered into the ceremony from this door, toward the east into red and yellow leaves. It has always felt lonely though there were always messengers, like the praying mantis on my door when I opened it this morning. Or the smell of pancakes when there were no pancakes, coffee when there was no coffee. I walked through the house we had built together from scraps of earth and tenderness, through the aftermath of loving too hard.