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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


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


toy boat

toy leaf  dropped

from a toy tree



as if the sp-


thinning above you

are not

already pierced

by their own names


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

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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