Oliver de la Paz’s forthcoming book, The Boy in the Labyrinth, will be published by the University of Akron Press in 2019. His other collections include Post Subject: A Fable (University of Akron Press, 2014), Requiem for the Orchard (University of Akron Press, 2010), Furious Lullaby (Southern Illinois University Press, 2007), and Names Above Houses (Southern Illinois University Press, 2001). A founding member of Kundiman, he teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and the Rainier Writing Workshops at Pacific Lutheran University. He lives near Worcester, Massachusetts.
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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
that cannot bring you faith and a woman
carrying a basket of glass jars gives one
to you. They carry dying fireflies. No,
they’re dried hands holding lit matches
and she tells you it’s your light, it’s your fucking light.