Departure by Ocean Vuong
Dawn cracks: a lightning bolt carving slowly through the clouds. All night I listened to your breath. Even tasted your lips when the moon turned you pale as a corpse. I haven’t killed a thing since the morning we followed gunshots into a field peppered with sparrows. Remember how their necks twitched beneath our thumbs? Before twisting, I took some time to feel the rage of wings against palm, marveling at such fierce resistance to mercy. Perhaps it was selfish—I couldn’t bear the sound of wings flying nowhere. Darling, forgive me. When you wake and begin to flutter in the emptiness still warm from my whispers, I will be too far from this field to wrap my hands around that little bird in your chest.
This particular poem of Vuong’s comes from his chapbook “Burnings” which is no longer in print, but you can purchase his other powerful book Night Sky with Exit Wounds. Click here to purchase.
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