Guia Nocon Literary Services
GUIA NOCON Literary Services

Journal

Someday I'll Love Ocean Vuong by Ocean Vuong

My love for this poet and his book Night Sky With Exit Wounds runs deep. This poem came to me at a time when I was struggling with self-love and care. Two things I could always be better at and struggle with constantly. I make mistakes but I get better every day in part because of people like Ocean Vuong who are excellent teachers.

Hear him read this amazing poem on The New Yorker’s website, here, where the poem was featured in the May 4, 2015 issue.

Someday I’ll Love Ocean Vuong by Ocean Vuong

After Frank O’Hara / After Roger Reeves

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 tripwire. 
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 into. 
Don’t be afraid, the gunfire 
is only the sound of people 
trying to live a little longer. 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, a poet and essayist, is the author of “Night Sky with Exit Wounds,” which won the 2016 Whiting Award.

Ocean Vuong, a poet and essayist, is the author of “Night Sky with Exit Wounds,” which won the 2016 Whiting Award.