2 Poems (Amorak Huey)

The Moon Can Go to Hell

I have no time for your cold-ass beauty,


your stupid air of chill and mystery,

your power to slosh the oceans side to side

like the beer that’s one too many at the dwindling of the block party

skateboarding around the rim of a plastic cup

in the unsteady grip of someone with their eyes

on someone else,

which is fine

or maybe it’s not,

but you, moon,

I have no patience for your unblinking gaze.

It’s the eleventh day of the sixty-umpteenth week of the four-dozenth year 

of this nonsense,

and I am done with you, moon, 

and you, too, river,

with your beautiful cascades,

your boasts about never making the same mistake twice,

something something sound of water over rocks,

get over yourself. 

The bees? The bees can stay.


The mother dreams a state into being, calls it California. 

A landing place forged in escape,

in flame — a place of salty air

alive with new wings. What she

has learned is that she hears

fire before she sees it, that she 

need not wait to ask for answers 

she already carries in her body. 

First, years ago, came the wind: a storm

she named cruel, though she knows

names say more about the namer

than the named. The roar. Then

the rending. Then the rebuilding. 

Then, this season, that rattle in the chimney 

like a flat tire on gravel, a window blown loose, 

a snake’s warning in the grass: it’s time. 

Leave me here while you can

Later, her sons come to tour 

what’s left, blackened

reminders of the decades

since their own escape 

amid the daffodils and ornamental pears. 

Soot underfoot so thick we throw away 

our shoes when we — gratefully — depart. 


Amorak Huey is author of four books of poems including Dad Jokes from Late in the Patriarchy (Sundress Publications, 2021). He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. 


image: Emily Bottomley.