poetry quarterly

10th anniversary


Dan Vera



For the manuscript you kept locked up in a wall safe,
For the diaries you made sure would not be discovered,
For the letters from lovers you burned in the furnace,
For the measures you took to tear out their tongues,
For all of the ways you straightened the record,
For the zeal with which you smothered all knowledge,
For condemning the lovers to eternal silence.

May you see their faces in each mirror you gaze in.
May the names of their loved ones ring in your ears.
May you wake in the night to the sound of their fucking
and be forced to lose sleep to all of their groans.
May the pages you hide catch fire from their smoldering
till the wall safe explodes and consumes your house whole.
May you escape to find your charmed life in ruins.
May you call out in grief but hear nothing but silence.



Dan Vera is the author of The Space Between Our Danger and Delight (Beothuk Books, 2008). He is co-publisher of Vrzhu Press, and managing editor of the gay culture journal White Crane. Poems of his have appeared in the anthologies DC Poets Against the War, Shaping Sanctuary, and Full Moon on K Street: Poems About Washington, DC.


Published in Volume 12, Number 1, Winter 2011.


To read more by this author:
Dan Vera
Dan Vera: Evolving City Issue
Dan Vera: Split This Rock Issue
Kim Roberts and Vera on DC Author's Houses: Forebears Issue
Dan Vera's Intro to the US Poets Laureate Issue (Fall 2009)
Dan Vera on Four Laureates: US Poets Laureate Issue
Dan Vera: Tenth Anniversary Issue

Dan Vera: Floricanto Issue
Dan Vera on Sterling A. Brown: Poetic Ancestors Issue