one of the things that was bouncing around in my head when i wrote that is a set of lines from a richard hugo poem. i don't remember the title of the poem, or where i read it. it's not in any book i own. the lines, as far as i remember them, and this is probably not exactly right, are as follows:
not every river flows south
whatever maps might claim.
if you were mapped the color would be wrong:
no brown adequate for harm,
no white white enough for pain.
i'm sure that's slightly off, but if anyone knows what poem it's from, i would love to know. thanks!