Hehele by Devin Barricklow

  Illustration by Cameron Lee and Charlie Blodnieks

Illustration by Cameron Lee and Charlie Blodnieks

"Hehele" was first published in Quarto's Spring 2017 edition.

In the Hawaiian language, there is a word for
actions that are not done
to other things. My kumu explains it as
things that simply exist
in their own state of being.
“Doors are just
door-ing around.”

Even if a wheel
were to roll down a hill
& run someone over, it is still
a hehele word. It was just wheeling around,
its intentions true.

It helps me to think of it this way
when I ignore your messages;
perhaps you were not dark & curly-haired evil, perhaps
you were just door-ing around.
Perhaps my hurt
was simply the result of your
careening down the hill,
wheeling forward, unable to speak
or to warn.