by Ocean Vuong
published in The Nation (January 28, 2014)
It’s more like the sound a doe makes when the arrowhead replaces the day with an answer to the rib’s hollowed hum. We saw it coming but kept walking through the hole in the garden. Because the leaves were bright green & the fire only a pink brushstroke in the distance. It’s not about the light—but how dark it makes you depending on where you stand. Depending on where you stand his name can appear like moonlight shredded in a dead dog’s fur. His name changed when touched by gravity. Gravity breaking our kneecaps just to show us the sky. We kept saying Yes— even with all those birds. Who would believe us now? My voice cracking like bones inside the radio. Silly me. I thought love was real & the body imaginary. But here we are—standing in the cold field, him calling for the girl. The girl beside him. Frosted grass snapping beneath her hooves.