Duy Doan is the author of We Play a Game, winner of the 2017 Yale Series of Younger Poets Prize (Yale University Press 2018). His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Poetry, Poetry Northwest, Slate, TriQuarterly, and elsewhere. A Kundiman fellow, Doan received an MFA in poetry from Boston University, where he serves as director of the Favorite Poem Project.


Duy Doan


remember when Tuan

scored that goal against the neighbors

and then pumped his fist and

slid across the lawn,

how the grass stained

his knee-highs?




feline on the prowl. Nip's 5 a.m. shuffle.

rooster at sunrise, ears

cocked back, springing forward. and now

that two-pronged tear just inches

above the hem of your pant leg.




when coming home with mom and dad

from Sunday lunch at grandpa's – okra in spit soup

with rice – little brother napped, his cheek

pressed against my shoulder, drool

thickening the knit, darkening the faded green

of my right sleeve.

Dancing School

Duy Doan


Four deer practiced leaping over your fences.

 – Elizabeth Bishop


1. Find the radius

    of Xavi's positive

    Influence Aura.



2. Puyol on the corner:


      Describe the body’s shape. Is it favorable

      or inauspicious.


3. First the irretrievable, then

    Iniesta’s stroke to release Messi

    gleaming into the English Channel:


      Was it pragmatism or panache.

      Is it something you can kill.

4. Xavi, Messi and Iniesta and two defenders, all in a canoe.

    Iniesta alone in the canoe.


      Narrate the passes.