Poem of the Week

Diaspora Sonnet 65

Oliver de la Paz

Rhododendron blooms at the window,
lapping at the glass. Obscene tongues.

Their smattering of kisses in the wind,
a seasonal ache. Their leaf bobs—

the way they clasp and unclasp flowers
to mark memory and time. Rosettes,

fused mouths puckered into refusal.
Saying nothing. Breathing nothing

but their acidic earth. The loam of a place
unhospitable beneath the white pine

whose killing needles glint in shards
of dire necessity. And where flowers

bud and break, where the hummingbirds
careen, I am weary of this sharp order.

Oliver de la Paz is the author of five collections of poetry and is a founding member of Kundiman. He teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the Low-Residency MFA Program at PLU.
Originally published:
April 13, 2022

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