Amorak Huey

Loup-Garou Sings the Blues


Moonlight & mouthsnap & metal trap –
I fall in love with anyone
in a raucous plum dress – I haunt
& steal. My life is stalk
& shadow & a story on everyone’s tongue.


No catch is so nourishing
as the one in someone else’s net,
no lie so believable
as the one on someone else’s tongue –
the snot & slurp of stolen oysters.


I return from war & the music
on everyone’s tongue peels
my skin from my bones.


You do not have to believe me
to believe in me. I am shoeless
& unsettled & her pretty mouth
keeps my name on everyone’s tongue.


There is jealousy on your tongue.
Shovel & bayou & lover,
bury & fingernail & desire –
I am the words that do not belong.


I am usually someone you know
& you don’t need to transform
to taste wine on a lover’s tongue.


Pennies on your tongue for luck –
the myth that tells itself.


Big lake or bayou, river or gulf,
it doesn’t matter where you drown
or whether there is salt on your tongue
as your lungs fill with water.


I am the nest of rats in the cellar,
poison on an unsuspecting tongue,
sharpened stick against unmutilated skin,
I am all the words that rhyme with lonely.


The forest burns but the wolf survives.
The love story ends abruptly
but something hungry takes its place –
a morality tale in any tongue.


The howl on my tongue
sounds like a guitar,
or it’s the wind,
or it’s the other way around.


After twelve I lose track, start again,
count & count until morning comes.
The numbers falter on my tongue
& taste of blood. When I disappear in the sun
my absence will destroy you.

Amorak Huey, a former newspaper reporter and editor, teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His chapbook The Insomniac Circus is forthcoming from Hyacinth Girl Press. His poems appear in The Best American Poetry 2012, Willow Springs, The Cincinnati Review, The Collagist, Tupelo Quarterly, and many other journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.