Deto(nation)

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. Dont 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)