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.
* * *
Used with permission.
* * *Oliver de la Paz is the author of four collections of poetry:Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, Requiem for the Orchard, and Post Subject: A Fable. He co-edited A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry, and he serves as the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board for Kundiman, a not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian American Writing. His work has been published in Tinhouse, Quarterly West, New England Review, American Poetry Review, and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. He teaches in the MFA program at Western Washington University and in the Low-Res MFA program at PLU.
* * *
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