​​H E R M E N E U T I C   C H A O S   J O U R N A L

amorak huey

Nocturne: Tallahassee

The glazed night sky torques and writhes and buckles
over Lake Ella. We’re holding hands, sometimes 

our wedding rings make an ugly clack.
It’s hurricane season. We like to think we’re safe

this far north of the gulf, though the air 
is choked with salt. The thunder 

says Home, says Hurry,
says Hunger can split you open

We cannot see the stars
because we hold them in our mouths—

a kind of sacrament. Forgiveness
for what we are about to do. 

Lightning spits permission. Retracts it.
We have nowhere to look for guidance. 

The twilight is burning. 
The clouds smell of gunpowder. 


                   for A., who might not remember 
A guitar is a promise to the body,
is water rising toward bridge,
is us lost
on our way somewhere meaningful.
Every time I say I’m sorry
you say I know.
I’m learning to say I apologize instead—
this is the legacy of us,
it’s what I’ll be thinking about years later
when I watch you on Jeopardy!
plus of course your mouth
in the form of a question.
Sometimes the show
matters more than the music.
Sometimes a guitar has to make a statement.
At least we love the same songs 
unless one of us is pretending.
A guitar is catalyst, is climax,
is compromise between form and function,
is us breathing life into each other
and into this moment we might both forget:
It’s summer. It’s raining.
We’re driving aimlessly,
fast-forwarding to the ballads. 
You’re holding my hand.

Amorak Huey is author of the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2014) and the forthcoming poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications, 2015). A former newspaper editor and reporter, he teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His poems appear in The Best American Poetry 2012, Poet Lore, The Southern Review, Carolina Quarterly, Baltimore Review, and many other print and online journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.