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By 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)

  • Arts & Sciences
  • Living
  • Relationships

Poet Bio

Ocean Vuong
Born in Saigon, poet and editor Ocean Vuong was raised in Hartford, Connecticut, and earned a BA at Brooklyn College (CUNY). He lives in Queens, New York, where he serves as managing editor for Thrush Press.  In his poems, he often explores transformation, desire, and violent loss.  See More By This Poet

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