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About this poet

Oliver de la Paz is the author of Post Subject: A Fable (University of Akron Press, 2014). He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and lives in Holden, Massachusetts.

Dear Empire [these are your temples]

Dear Empire,



These are your temples. There are rows of stone countenances, pillar after pillar. As if walking through a forest filled with alabaster heads: here, the frown. The gaze. The luminous stare.

Smoke from the incense curls, shapes itself against the archways, rubs against the grooves of the columns. Only a few men press their heads to their hands.

Outside, archeologists excavate a stone torso. Bound in coils of fraying rope, it rises before us, pulled upwards by a backhoe. Its form momentarily hides the sun, though as it sways, the light strikes our eyes. Saying yes. Saying no.

Copyright © 2012 by Oliver de la Paz. Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2012 by Oliver de la Paz. Used with permission of the author.

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of Post Subject: A Fable (University of Akron Press, 2014). 

by this poet

poem

And in the outer world, the first, something smooth and wet. An
     X
skims across the tops of the crests in a succession of skips. The
     longest
holds its space in the air, pauses, then descends into what is a cool
     sleep.

X and all the faces of backlit animals gaze downward

2
poem

The way is written in the dark:

it has steel in it, something metallic, a gun,

a mallet, a piece of machinery—

something cold like the sea, something,

 

a nervous shudder. If it

were to go on, the next stanza

would snuff out sound.
 
It would stand in a forest