Friday, June 17, 2016

Threshold by Ocean Vuong


In the body, where everything has a price,
                I was a beggar. On my knees,

I watched, through the keyhole, not
                the man showering, but the rain

falling through him: guitar strings snapping
                over his globed shoulders.

He was singing, which is why
                I remember it. His voice—

it filled me to the core
                like a skeleton. Even my name

knelt down inside me, asking
                to be spared.

He was singing. It is all I remember.
                For in the body, where everything has a price,

I was alive. I didn’t know
                there was a better reason.

That one morning, my father would stop
                —a dark colt paused in downpour—

& listen for my clutched breath
                behind the door. I didn’t know the cost

of entering a song—was to lose
                your way back.

So I entered. So I lost.
                I lost it all with my eyes

wide open.


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