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 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. I ran into the night.
The night: my shadow growing
toward my father
Ocean Vuong, “Deto(nation)” from Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Copyright © 2016 by Ocean Vuong. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.com
Source: Night Sky with Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)