You volunteer but there’s a murmur in your heart, a stammer that might have saved your life. For a while, at least. You break another boy’s arm in the state wrestling meet. You dream of the jungle. Classmates go, and their names appear on the gym wall. You practice magic tricks, slipping cards into other people’s pockets and pretending to be surprised when they appear at critical moments. Everyone is losing faith; it’s nice to keep some mystery in things. You start telling people that you faked the murmur, that you can control the ebb and pulse of your own body. It’s remarkable how many doors remain unlocked, how easy it is to walk in and take what you want. This will not last, the flesh can hold only so many secrets. For years, the sounds will be all you remember—all that music like no one had ever heard before, and then the snapping of bone.


Amorak Huey, a former newspaper editor and reporter, teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. His writing has appeared in The Best American Poetry 2012, The Southern Review, Menacing Hedge, Hobble Creek Review, and many other print and online journals. Follow him on Twitter: @amorak.