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Issue #4: Poetry

Ocean Vuong

A Kind of Kindness

The night he chooses her
instead, you find yourself
on the sagging porch, watching
a lone moth bash herself against
the lamp. That relentless ticking—
fury thrown again and again
into light—until dusty wings unravel.
And because
you’ve always been reckless
with tenderness, you gather
the small panic in your hands,
part your lips and try
to stitch a song
into gauze. But what good
is music if not to trouble
the air? What good—if not
the cold rooms, the bed
made emptier with moonlight,
where you’ll crush yourself,
skillfully, into no one’s arms.





Ocean Vuong  is the author of two chapbooks: No (YesYes Books, 2013) and Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010), which was an American Library Association’s Over The Rainbow selection. A recipient of a 2013 Pushcart Prize, he is a recipient of fellowships from Kundiman, Poets House, and the Saltonstall Foundation For the Arts, as well as an Academy of American Poets Prize and the Connecticut Poetry Society’s Al Savard Award. Poems appear in Poetry, The Nation, Quarterly West, Passages North, Guernica, The Normal School, Beloit Poetry Journal, Denver Quarterly, Best of the Net 2012 and the American Poetry Review, which awarded him the 2012 Stanley Kunitz Prize for Younger Poets. Work has also been translated into Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian.

Born in Sai Gon, Vietnam, he currently resides in New York City where he reads chapbook submissions as the managing editor of Thrush Press. He thinks you’re perfect.

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