On condition of anonymity
we are conditioned by antonyms. There,
the thing made—villainous and ill-tempered.
Repulsive. We’re made beasts. Formed from many
scales. How does one love a thing that loves nothing?
Made from the wrack and wreck of you—image
of you, and sent by you to fight your fights,
thus we are all parts and parts. Hibernal
and truant, until your remembrances
have mislaid all the best of you into
us. Tilt our heads, turned this way and that, see
all our old stitching come undone. Our sons—
they see the made thing we have become, hurt
to flinching. The song of skin, soon unsung.
Reprinted from The Diaspora Sonnets by Oliver de la Paz. Copyright © 2023 by Oliver de la Paz. Used with permission of the publisher, Liveright Publishing Corporation, a division of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved.