How I Got This Way
Often in the movie version they’ll connect the main villain to the hero’s origin story even if that’s not how it really happened. This is in the interest of a compelling narrative. Like that time you went to church camp over spring break and came back to ask whether I believed in God, and I said yes. You broke up with me anyway because of God, or maybe it was because of the boy across the street, or the boy who got the spot I wanted on the varsity baseball team, I’ve lost track, but it all works better if this story is about you and not Amy or April or Traci or some other girl I’ve half-remembered and half-invented. The blood in my mouth hurts more if all the lies are for you. Like, do you believe that snake in the Garden of Eden is really the same guy from the end times? That’s just a trope to help us see how seeds planted early on bear fruit later in the story. Do you see what I did there? I did it for you, the way I went to that church to hear you sing, to watch you worship, to see what shape faith takes when it takes the shape of your body.
Amorak Huey is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbook The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014). 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, The Cincinnati Review, The Southern Review, The Collagist, Menacing Hedge, and many other print and online journals.
Photo by Michael