He came into my room like a god stepping out of a painting.
Back from the wind, he called to me with a mouthful of crickets--
scent of ash and lilac rising from his hair. I waited
for the night to wane into years before reaching
for his hands, my finger tracing the broken lines in his palm.
My shadow beneath his shadow across the hardwood. And we danced
like that: father and son-- our bodies like a pair of legs
swaying over a broken chair.
82 The Paris-American
Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Ocean Vuong is the author of two chapbooks: No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was selected by the American Library Association's "Over The Rainbow" list of recommended LGBT reading. A Kundiman Fellow, he is a recipient of a 2012 Stanley Kunitz Memorial Prize, an Academy of American Poets Prize, as well as six Pushcart Prize nominations. Poems appear in American Poetry Review, Verse Daily, Southern Indiana Review, Guernica, Poetry Northwest and Drunken Boat, amongst others. Recently, he was awarded a 2013 Poets House Emerging Writers Fellowship and was a finalist for the "Discovery"/Boston Review Poetry Prize. He lives in Queens, NY. (www.oceanvuong.tumblr.com)