Adam Hughes: Discovery Channel

Discovery Channel


Suppose you’re a gazelle, scanning the grass

in search of lions, cheetahs, the endless

dangers of life as the pursued. Maybe

you would see rocks as cats, death in the grass

even where there is only dirt and moles

and things already dead adding their dust

to the layers of dust millions of years

in the making. Everywhere dying.


I remember the time we danced outside

hearing coyotes as they drew nearer,

the woods echoing with their chattering,

we were not scared of them, not being small

like rabbits, not being alone like lost

children, the only thing to fear being

the shadow panthers lurking just beyond

reality. Nothing lasts forever.


Suppose you’re a gazelle again, still there

watching the motion of the savannah,

wondering which ripple was wind and which

was wild and what even was the difference

between the two. One eye always looking

at the elsewhere, one left to view what’s real—

home, children, the chewing of grass, love, sky,


the smile you smile in spite of the teeth

in spite of the thousand eyes just waiting

for you to fail, to falter, to give up.

One eye is enough to look for danger,

but one is not enough to see the real,

sometimes you have to expose the whiteness

of your throat in order to see the life

around you, full of fear yet unafraid.


Adam Hughes is the author of four full-length poetry collections, most recently Allow the Stars to Catch Me When I Rise (Salmon Poetry, 2017) and Deep Cries Out to Deep(Aldrich Press, 2017). Born and raised in Central Ohio, he now resides in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains where he is pursuing an MFA at Randolph College. Should you google him, he is not the Adam Hughes who draws near-pornographic depictions of female superheroes. This particular Adam Hughes cannot draw.