Emergence Magazine

Artwork by James Lee Chiahan


by Ocean Vuong


Ocean Vuong is the author of the New York Times best-selling poetry collection Time Is a Mother and the New York Times best-selling novel On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, which has been translated into thirty-seven languages. A recipient of a 2019 MacArthur Fellowship (the “genius” grant), he is also the author of the critically acclaimed poetry collection Night Sky with Exit Wounds, a New York Times Top 10 Book of 2016 and winner of the T.S. Eliot Prize, the Whiting Award, the Thom Gunn Award, and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A Ruth Lilly fellow from the Poetry Foundation, his honors include fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, The Elizabeth George Foundation, The Academy of American Poets, and the Pushcart Prize. He currently lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, and serves as a tenured professor in the Creative Writing MFA Program at NYU.


James Lee Chiahan is a Taiwanese-Canadian artist and graphic designer. He is interested in creating images that recall moments in everyday life that are deeply affecting but difficult to explain. His clients include The Marshall Project, The California Sunday, and The On Being Project. He is currently based in Montreal, Canada.


If I should wake & the Ark

the Ark already



If there was one shivering thing

at my side


If the snow in his hair

was all that was left


of the fire


If we ran through the orchard

with our mouths

wide open


& still too small

for amen


If I nationed myself

in the shadow

of a colossal wave


If only to hold on

by opening—

by kingdom come


give me this one

eighth day

let me enter

this nearly-gone yes


the way death enters

anything fully

without a trace

Read More Stories from Shifting Landscapes

Step further into the changes enveloping us with Vol 4. Shifting Landscapes. The voices gathered here bear witness to the Earth’s changing face and offer ways to orient ourselves in this time of great loss, possibility, and transformation. Spanning 275 pages, this issue is our most photographic to date and includes a special practice insert.

Order Volume 4

Read More Poems

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