WHEN A POET WRITES AFTERWARD YOU KNOW IT MEANS
after having sex;
or, after someone has died.
Before such a thing, or during,
who has time for poetry?
It’s April in Michigan, which means
we have plenty of time
and this poem isn’t
coming after anything
except more stupid snow. It must
have been a day like this one
when my parents decided
to leave this state, move south,
start over: what hunger
carried them along that highway.
How young they must have felt,
or how old, how purposeful.
They are both still alive,
still in the South, but divorced
and I have nothing meaningful
to say about any of that,
for now. Somehow here I
am, back in this state
as if by accident, twice the age they were,
thinking about you, thinking about
desire, thinking about the tricks
a tongue plays with words,
with weather, with another tongue:
such roads we travel
in each other’s mouths.
Amorak Huey, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in poetry, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly, 2016). He teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.