Threshold by Ocean Vuong

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

wide open.