Someday I'll Love Ocean Vuong

Ocean Vuong

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Ocean, don’t be afraid.

The end of the road is so far ahead

it is already behind us.

Don’t worry. Your father is only your father

until one of you forgets. Like how the spine

won’t remember its wings

no matter how many times our knees

kiss the pavement. Ocean,

are you listening? The most beautiful part

of your body is wherever

your mother's shadow falls.

Here's the house with childhood

whittled down to a single red trip wire.

Don't worry. Just call it horizon

& you'll never reach it.

Here's today. Jump. I promise it's not

a lifeboat. Here's the man

whose arms are wide enough to gather

your leaving. & here the moment,

just after the lights go out, when you can still see

the faint torch between his legs.

How you use it again & again

to find your own hands.

You asked for a second chance

& are given a mouth to empty out of.

Don't be afraid, the gunfire

is only the sound of people

trying to live a little longer

& failing. Ocean. Ocean —

get up. The most beautiful part of your body

is where it's headed. & remember,

loneliness is still time spent

with the world. Here's

the room with everyone in it.

Your dead friends passing

through you like wind

through a wind chime. Here's a desk

with the gimp leg & a brick

to make it last. Yes, here's a room

so warm & blood-close,

I swear, you will wake —

& mistake these walls

for skin.

Ocean Vuong, "Someday, I'll Love Ocean Vuong" from Night Sky With Exit Wounds. Copyright © 2016 by Ocean Vuong. Reprinted by permission of Copper Canyon Press, www.coppercanyonpress.com 

Source: Night Sky With Exit Wounds (Copper Canyon Press, 2016)