Oliver de la Paz

                 first appeared as a word in Merriam Webster’s in 1972

Cratered, yes. A hollow worth a dozen

swallows. Or a halo, even. O that’s not

echo or even known. Having smoked

it to the filter. Having no filter and no

corner to disappear to. Pulse in the vein

that shuts the alarm. Glaze in the eyes

having stayed awake. Flick of the tongue

with the breath on the run. On the blink

and abandoned to field gray snows.

Bow to the wrecked trawlers along the bay,

home to crabs and limpets. Idle — idle

in this last life. This last beloved

and indifferent pore. Core hewn deep

into liminal history. Into a kind of sleep.


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