Hot Metal Bridge

Current Issue : Number Twenty-Five

Dear Empire [these are your laws]


This is your light. The generators are silent, private like a cloth over the photos on the mantel. The moon winks as it rains. This night is like the back of a throat. Belladonna black.


Picture, then, the ghost of us. On the ledges, frames back against the table tops. The power grid’s gap stretches in longer and longer synapses. For miles, the once steady gleam of light. Now they shift in the wind.


Wax from the house candles drops on the sill, making a jaw shape as it stretches and descends. It sings to no one.

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