Diaspora Sonnet 33

If only by some miracle these thoughts

would end having worried my brain as one

who nestles into mounds of hay. The bale

wears its field-smell—its ephemeral mind,


the idea of safety. Worry, the mouth

of a sleeping breather. The instinct to love is to worry.

And night upon night mounds of cut grasses,

a kind of shelter from unmoored stars. Night

upon night, a slip of the moon through creases

between bodies. Bodies beneath thatch. Between

worries and between slippages of selves.

Those of us who stayed awake—we who stayed

awake in the expectant dwelling in flux—

sewn up. And here. Very quiet. Breathing.

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.