Two Poems

Burdock Needlepoint, 2017, by Janna Añonuevo Langholz.

Diaspora Sonnet 11


In absence of blackbirds I give you
a diamond-studded sky.

In absence of heat, let there be
a window. Let it be lacquered

with the slow dust of our bodies
settling the sill. In absence of

our bodies, let there be a skein
of geese arrowing past. I give

you the veins of dead vines
festooning the frame. I give

placidity in certain places,
holy with our breath. Let me

smell the once clover-rich field
where we once dwelt, sugared and thick.


Diaspora Sonnet 13


I persist in a moment like a solarium.
Window, window, window – sunlit

and slow. A hum of memory. Bee-buzz
rattle of glass against pane as planes

write their misunderstandings above.
I am held by the abandoned lattice

where the wisteria bones form beautiful
cages in their reckless climb up the trellis.

Dear nowhere, I was a girl a minute ago.
I was asleep in the clear chambers of a heart.

I was a secret note in the back of a drawer
sliding forward as you pull the pulls.

I cannot be apart from you, having adored
all these durable moments from which you flee.

Janna Añonuevo Langholz ( is a photo-based interdisciplinary artist based in St. Louis, Missouri. Her work explores her Filipino American identity and relationship to place. She is the founder and editor of Filipino American Artist Directory, an initiative to connect and promote Fil/Am artists across the US and beyond.

Oliver de la Paz is the author of four books of poetry. His most recent collection, Post Subject: A Fable, was published by the University of Akron Press. He is the co-chair of the Kundiman advisory board, and he teaches at the College of the Holy Cross and in the low-residency MFA program at Pacific Lutheran University.