Thereís a joke that ends with ó huh?
Itís the bomb saying here is your father.
Now here is your father inside
your lungs. Look how lighter
the earth is ó afterward.
To even write the word father
is to carve a portion of the day
out of a bomb-bright page.
Thereís enough light to drown in
but never enough to enter the bones
& stay. Donít stay here, he said, my boy
broken by the names of flowers. Donít cry
anymore. So I ran into the night.
The night: my shadow growing
toward my father.
Poetry February 2014
Copyright © 2014 by Ocean Vuong
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission