By Ocean Vuong Ocean Vuong
There’s a joke that ends with — huh?
It’s the bomb saying here is your father.

Now here is your father inside
your lungs. Look how lighter

the earth is — afterward.
To even write the word father

is to carve a portion of the day
out of a bomb-bright page.

There’s enough light to drown in
but never enough to enter the bones

& stay. Don’t stay here, he said, my boy
broken by the names of flowers. Don’t cry

anymore. So I ran into the night.
The night: my shadow growing

toward my father.

Source: Poetry (February 2014).


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Poet Ocean Vuong

POET’S REGION U.S., Mid-Atlantic

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, Youth, Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Social Commentaries, War & Conflict

Poetic Terms Free Verse