Amorak Huey


Amorak Huey is the author of three books of poetry: Boom Box (Sundress, 2019), Seducing the Asparagus Queen (Cloudbank, 2018, winner of the Vern Rutsala Prize), and Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015), as well as two chapbooks. He is co-author with W. Todd Kaneko of Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Bloomsbury, 2018) and teaches at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.


In the Final Months of My Parents’ Marriage

We are building a flying machine, my father, my brother, & me. We work in the attic of an abandoned house— to reach this room, we lean the rusting skeleton of a box spring against the wall & scramble up through a trap door. Wood glue, balsa, complicated mimeograph blueprint—it’s a kit from the Farm & Feed, a gift, a getaway vehicle; although none of us knows it yet, we are each in our own separate hurries away from this place. The work is delicate, requires a kind of care I’ve never had. They are both better than I am at this, if it were left up to me, I would crack these thin slices of wood, render them useless. Down the hill, a chert driveway, crushed stone & packed sand. Across the road, a field. Beyond that, behind a row of scrub pine & water oak, a river. But today it’s the field we need. An open space to test our work. A rubber band. A winding tight. A letting go & a grassy place to land.

This poem is true, except for the parts I invented. That sounds more pretentious than I intend it to; it’s just that there was an old attic, a mattress frame, a divorce, and many balsa-wood planes. Still, I could not say exactly which parts of this are memory, which parts dream, which parts crafted to give the language a shape