January 13, 2015

Orgasms at Nineteen

Orgasms at Nineteen


by Amorak Huey

Never did know what the hell we were doing. Still
don’t, all these years later and no more insight

than those earliest sweaty nights with most of our clothes on.
So much humidity, terrible for hair and makeup,

our disguises melting away, our difficulty breathing
or even walking at the same pace. Insomnia,

motion sensors, the neighbor’s dog who never stopped barking,
my fingers inside you on the back porch.

You know why they call it le petit mort? Has nothing

to do with ecstasy or transcendence.
It’s this that’s like death: if it never happened

we would not know when to stop. Art requires
beginning and end —

between there somewhere
we held onto each other as long as we could,

for as many nights as we could steal:
shadows restless, moon just bright enough to hurt,

somewhere a door crashing against its frame.


Amorak Huey is author of the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2014) and the forthcoming collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress Publications, 2015). A former newspaper editor and reporter, he teaches writing at Grand Valley State University. His poems appear in anthologies including The Best American Poetry 2012, The Poetry of Sex and the forthcoming New Poetry from the Midwest. His poems appear in The Southern Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Collagist, Poet Lore, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Menacing Hedge, Stirring, and many other print and online journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.

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