The boy in the labyrinth feeds the flame of his torch. Strips torn from his robe coil around the base for fire. And as the fire grows, so does his knowledge of the cold. The frayed ends of his threads wave like bare roots. The fire eats the air as lazy waves radiate in the haze. His bare thighs twitch. Chilled. In the darkness, a glint of his skin can be seen in the flash of his torch’s light. The tunnels bare the heat-tongue of the newly fed flame in the blackened archways. And in the flicker, the red thump of the boy’s heart leads the way.
Author of the article
Oliver de la Paz
Oliver de la Paz is the author of three collections of poetry, Names Above Houses (SIU Press), Furious Lullaby (SIU Press), and Requiem for the Orchard(U. of Akron Press). He is the co-editor of A Face to Meet the Faces: An Anthology of Contemporary Persona Poetry. A founding member, he co-chairs the advisory board of Kundiman, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Asian American Poetry. A recipient of a NYFA Fellowship Award, and a GAP grant from Artists’ Trust, his work has appeared in journals like The Southern Review, Virginia Quarterly Review, North American Review, Tin House and in anthologies such as Asian American Poetry: The Next Generation. He teaches at the creative writing program at Western Washington University.