forget heaven & its promises of gold—
everything we make on this planet
has one purpose. every poem, every act
of photosynthesis, every protest. if heaven
is real, then its gates are closed to us. maybe
heaven is just a museum of all the life
we have extincted. we are death
machines building death machines. in life
we are useless to stop death. in death, we arrive
at god’s house—only to find god torturing dolls.
we wanted to be made in god’s image—we imagined
gold & not the melting that gold requires.
Excerpted from PROMISES OF GOLD by José Olivarez. Published by Henry Holt and Company. Copyright © 2023 by José Olivarez. Translation Copyright © 2023 by David Ruano González. All rights reserved.