More than Sex

By Ocean Vuong


His body trembling
in the brilliant ripples
of orgasm.
I cannot join him—
this man gasping for air,
shivering in the thrill
of his new skin.
Is it right to love
this hunger making us
more beautiful
than we have the right?
How quickly the animal empties.
We ‘re alone again
with these bodies.
His face pale as a boy’s, struck
with October.
And there, in his eyes,
beneath the lamp’s gold glaze,
I find what I came for:
a sea of lilacs
their withered petals.

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Born in Saigon, Vietnam, OCEAN VUONG is the author of the chapbook Burnings (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2010) and is currently an undergraduate at Brooklyn College, CUNY. His poems have received an Academy of American Poets Prize, the Connecticut Poetry Society’s Al Savard Award, as well as four Pushcart Prize nominations. Poems appear in RHINO, diode, Lantern Review, Softblow, Crate, and PANK, among others. Work has also been translated into Hindi, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian. He lives in Brooklyn and is an avid supporter of animal rights and veganism.

3 responses to “More than Sex”

  1. Pete DeLorean says:

    Ocean I love your stuff. Especially the last five lines. Thanks.

  2. […] miss this poem by Ocean Vuong at The Nervous […]

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