A HOLE TO THE OTHER
SIDE OF THE WORLD
by Amorak Huey

Our town is named Love Triangle, named Temporary Housing,
named for a rare flower native to the region

or for the river that divides us.  So many churches
and everyone smokes.  Across from the old high school

two neighbors lean against a maple
to share a lighter.  Each thinks

he is the most bored, alone, frustrated, hungry.
It’s football season, which gives them something to talk about.

One of them grew up here, the other a newcomer.
Though divided by income and ten years apart in age

they would claim a kind of friendship:
they are married to cousins,

their sons play ball together,
one daughter babysits the other,

they both pretend to believe in God,
find it hard to imagine anyone isn’t pretending.

One man goes in to eat,
leaving the other alone

as what’s left of the sun wanders
behind the tennis courts.  He flexes his fingers,

admires the strength in his arms,
worries about

the bile he’s tasting in the mornings, lately.
His garage is full of lumber scraps,

broken tools.  Soon
he will find his shovel and resume digging.
















by Amorak Huey

The director eats can after can of SpaghettiOs
and demands more vulnerability.
The leading man has dysentery.
We all have dysentery.
No doubt this scene
is intended to explain
something essential
about the nature of life.
It also must keep the plot moving.
It has been rewritten six times
by eight writers.  No one cares.
Someone spent hours
sewing these curtains
in the name of authenticity.
No one cares.  A man with strong
hands arose early
to build this floor
we’re standing on
so carelessly.
We’ve gotten so much right.
Our ad-libbing has never been better.
The light is magnificent.
We are hitting our marks.
But this is how it goes.
It is, in the end,
beautiful enough
but extraneous.














by Amorak Huey

One of us lies awake, the other sleeps, dreams, both,
we’ve been at this for years,
it’s that kind of marriage.  The king bed is new,
what to do with so much space,
the neighbors are new and so young

they cannot hold still
like the mylar balloon tied to the tire swing in their yard,

so red and so shiny, forgive me.

Our kids are still awake in rooms nearby,
laughing at whatever the world’s beaming
into their earbuds.  It’s easy to picture:

beauty in their faces, ghost-glow of handheld screens,
they’re alive in the future already
but we will not be.

I forgot to tell you, the library called again today.
We’re out of renewals.  It’s not a metaphor.
I don’t know where the books are.  Maybe
there’s one under the bed.

If this does not sound like a love poem you’re reading it wrong.






















by Amorak Huey

It’s too loud because we’re too old.
The beer is light, the sauce mild.
Our sons have no patience
for this sport.  Our wives
have only patience.
Our parents are dying.
Our team is losing,
has lost so many times already,
the star pitcher never
having been the same
since someone published
a series of nude selfies
he took with his girlfriend.
We are pretty sure
this says something important
about hunger,
complacency.  We keep
starting sentences
with “I’m older now
than he was when . . .”
On our separate drives home
we will chew gum
to cleanse our breath;
we will forget to pick up
the dry cleaning.
We lose track of the score,
blame the bullpen,
over-tip the servers,
we expect a kind
of sympathy we have not
earned.  This is what it looks like
to have inherited the earth.








_____________________________________________________


Amorak Huey, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow
in poetry, is the author of the poetry collection
Ha Ha Ha Thump,
which was released by Sundress Publications in 2015.  He is also
the author of two chapbooks:
A Map of the Farm Three Miles
from the End of Happy Hollow Road
, published by Porkbelly
Press in 2016, and
The Insomniac Circus, published by Hyacinth
Girl Press in 2014.  Huey teaches writing at Grand Valley State
University in Michigan.
  


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Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of Contemporary
Literature
 

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 12, Number 1
(Spring 2017)

Copyright © 2017
by Leah Browning, Editor.  

All future rights to material
published in the
Apple
Valley Review
are retained
by the individual authors
and artists.

www.applevalleyreview.com
A SCENE DESTINED
FOR THE CUTTING
ROOM FLOOR
TO THE DADS AT
BUFFALO WILD WINGS
WATCHING THE
TIGERS GAME ON A
MONDAY AFTERNOON
IN APRIL
NOCTURNE WITH
OVERDUE BOOKS