Threshold by Ocean Vuong
In the body, where everything has a price,
I was a beggar. On my knees,
I watched, through the keyhole, not
the man showering, but the rain
falling through him: guitar strings snapping
over his globed shoulders.
He was singing, which is why
I remember it. His voice—
it filled me to the core
like a skeleton. Even my name
knelt down inside me, asking
to be spared.
He was singing. It is all I remember.
For in the body, where everything has a price,
I was alive. I didn’t know
there was a better reason.
That one morning, my father would stop
—a dark colt paused in downpour—
& listen for my clutched breath
behind the door. I didn’t know the cost
of entering a song—was to lose
your way back.
So I entered. So I lost.
I lost it all with my eyes