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

Bibliographical info

Ocean Vuong, “Deto(nation)” from Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Copyright © 2016 by Ocean Vuong. Used by permission of Copper Canyon Press,

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

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