by Ally Ang
after Ocean Vuong
1 disobedient not-thing / refusing to die / some days / you believe that grief / has given birth to you / that
there was no You / before It
2 grief makes a vessel / of your body / just as water / takes the shape of its container / seeping in / through the cracks / in the floorboards / through the membrane / of your cells / settling into the quiet / of this poem
3 it finds you / abandoned child / curled into a question mark / endlessly repeating / mouth wide / with unvoiced prayer:
4 O God / O God / O God
5 lie down inside of it / the belly of this poem / growing ripe & swollen / with your mourning / let your child body / sink into sleep / at its breast
6 dear Poet / you cannot delay your grief / forever / you can only welcome it / home.
Ally Ang is a gaysian poet and MFA candidate at the University of Washington in Seattle. Ally’s work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Bettering American Poetry, and they have been published in Nepantla, AAWW’s The Margins, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and elsewhere. Find them at allysonang.com, or on Instagram and Twitter @theoceanisgay.