By Dylan Lopez

For many, peace is a broken rifle scattered
over the dried, blood-clot Field in Flanders
where trench poppies bloom brass shells
and thick mud washes clean off the milk-white
headstones—graves twice-filled with those nameless
who cry peace at last, from their green hollows.
Peace is winged victory and hoisted flags
hung off the bow of a battleship’s deck, painted
on the steel-stiff wings of an English mockingbird,
the soaring sentinel trills of hard-won peace.

For others, peace is that solemn, celebrated calling—
a voiceless song heard in the humble corners of the sacred ear
it whispers divine division of those near, intimate burdens
Peace stirs in the sacred abbeys, the cloistered gardens
surrounded by peach-petaled dahlias and Yucatan plumes.
Peace enkindles candlelight in Sor Juana’s convent, under the
roiling adobe sun—seething to the toll of the bronze mission bells.
Peace slakes the soul with saintly, ceremonial spirits
for this pious peace communes, forgives, and exalts
through the blazing triumph over suffering.

For me, peace lacked the gravity of war
or the mystic sympathy of the soul-maker.
Peace was personal, a crucial diagnosis
given to me on a sable-leather chaise.
Peace was a seductive sunset typed
onto the glass curves of a benzo bottle
Peace was a floor covered in pencil shavings
it was the colored lights on the dust-caked-ceiling
Peace was the quiet work I hadn’t finished,
and the drowned-out dreams, resurfaced.

Peace—for me, was an eight dollar copay.

Dylan Lopez is a Corpus Christi native, and current English student at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Introduced to creative writing by his high school mentor, Dylan has been featured in Joseph Wilson’s Open All Night, the Island Waves student newspaper, and published in Corpus Christi Writers 2019 by Mays Publishing. Dylan has twice been selected as a featured local poet for The People’s Poetry Festival, and currently serves as the Assistant Managing Editor for The Windward Review literary journal of South Texas.

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