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By Ocean Vuong

For Tamir Rice

yellow plastic

black sea


eye-shaped shard

on a darkened map


no shores now

to arrive — or

depart

no wind but

this waiting which

moves you


as if  the seconds

could be entered

& never left


toy boat — oarless

each wave

a green lamp

outlasted


toy boat

toy leaf  dropped

from a toy tree

waiting


waiting

as if the sp-

arrows

thinning above you

are not

already pierced

by their own names


Notes:

The epigraph of this poem was originally omitted in the changeover to the new website. Because of this, reciting the epigraph is optional for the 2019-2020 Poetry Out Loud season.

Source: Poetry (April 2016)

  • Living
  • Social Commentaries

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.

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