Diaspora Sonnet 32

In these moments Nothing passing between

hearts, everything turning to mist. Then blank.


In his mind, sleeping wars and the sleeping

soldiers with rifles against their knees. Guns

and the shoulder straps, seductively slung

across the breastbones of the uniformed.

In their boredom, I imagine them stand

and cross one leg over the other. Steam


off their wet brows changes light. Forms them

into light. And morning is a softening


bronze. I imagine father forfeiting

nothing, save the grace that is this moment.


As my father forfeits field and nation

and I dream nothing in these turning skies.

Oliver de la Paz is the author and editor of seven books. His latest collection of poetry, The Diaspora Sonnets, will be published by Liveright Press (2023). He is a founding member of Kundiman, and he teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at Pacific Lutheran University.