If Marge cooks a roast in 1956 and her husband doesn’t return from work until 2008, will we forgive him yet for his alcoholism? Will she be changed if instead he returns six weeks later with an RV-full of cigarettes and a newfound appreciation of the bald pate of his privilege and also his wife’s brilliance, Marge the diviner, the smoker, the compass—and how long overcooked need the roast be before it’s so black and charred it becomes a diamond?
If you kill a deer with an arrow, the gods will favor you but Republicans will not. The irony of tents used not for camping but to wait out the superstore’s 8am open to buy bullets used not for hunting is lifeblood, is what keeps me alive at night, the adrenaline of connecting dots with a blade through fog’s fine heft, the pink pants and rose-petal tee foisted on the daughter who dreams of the ocean, the spangled fish in their tanks by the dog food, the fish from Tahiti, fish caught under the lip of Shikoku, Portugal, the barrels just waiting for the gun, the hooks that divide the fish from the sporting section…We need more room on the coat rack because a trigger guard is too perfect for hanging— it’s a problem. We need a second coat rack. We need more coats—cold weather is the problem.
Baby, you hung the moon. You carved the oceans, the bluffs, swung the electorate. I have a call with the mayor next Tuesday to discuss the proposed statue to honor your eyes, blue marble and every Friday in April Public Works will drag the river for the unfulfilled engagement rings tossed by your lineage of suitors; they owe me a favor. Dearest, most lovely and most dear, even the things left behind bear marks of you, the breath of yours life-giving: bubbles that scale the half-finished water in the car and cling atop its plastic dome, a clutch of eggs against the amphibious cap.
Brandon Amico lives in North Carolina. His poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, The Awl, Booth, The Cincinnati Review, New Ohio Review, and Verse Daily, among others. You can follow him on Twitter, @amicob, or visit him at www.brandonamico.com.