Oliver de la Paz

Oliver de la Paz is the author of three books of poetry: Names Above Houses, Furious Lullaby, and Requiem for the Orchard. He is the co-editor of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poems and the co-chair of Kundiman.org's advisory board. He teaches at Western Washington University.

Poem ii

Dear Empire,

These are your aerialists. The peals of thunder we hear on a clear day startle all the livestock. The cattle barrel into the fences despite the electrical wire.

And despite ourselves, we flinch as they approach, low to the ground and fast as sparrows. The children below the jets plug their ears and flinch. We see the contrails rake white lines across the sky as though someone had run a finger through limns of a painting.

Against our hearts we feel their approach. Here they come again. Here they are.