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.