Twiceheartedly, the singing:
death of the horse, death of the horse,
through which the mills creak forward
or back, depending on where you face
and what you choose to present,
a gift, a marrow, eagerness
depending on your face
and the lean meat you rode
in on, the musculature of which
cannot bear the symbolism we’ve
packed for the journey, alone
the glitter wasting around you, proud
a sling, an arrow, a stone
pierce the body, for
country, harvest, for bone
and this, and on and on
and on and on and on
will you beat a dead horse
back to life, the public demands it
for country, for children, for home
what’s the sound of one hand
slapping bread from another
At the beginning of each episode I die.
Story from there’s about how I’ll bite it,
narration the blade of hot wind teasing my hair;
neck red with sunburn & anxious blood.
More conscious of the bones propping me up, having
already seen them. More people drown
in the oases than are saved by them according
to my show, but of course none are around
to fact-check. Mornings, god lifts
the blue string laced through me, limbs jostle
together & hallelujah I can stand upright,
though much as a bow is bent & held—
for tension, which gets good ratings. Which is how
I keep returning. Once, a man here made the
mistake of erecting a roof. By the time the dust storm
peeled it back, someone had already gotten to him.
He laid there on his sheets staring upward through
the camera. Pale & quiet like he died from lack of sun.
Which is exactly the story that gets told.
How to Sync to the Cloud
: Die. First thing gone
is moisture, sluiced through pore
wood’s grain and dirt, in turn.
Turn on your side—the planet
careens away as you lift, the planet
is your sex, lying below Alnitak,
Alnilam, Mintaka. Have, in general,
enough of the heavens. Come back.
Remember the hill in summer, looking
down on the glitter of a city you never
knew the name of, black raspberry
at the ice cream stand overlooking
it all, promised: when the snow comes
we can sled it, soon. Hope
a thing found anywhere, grass here
like the grass there, thin blades
parsing the wind, runnels interrupting
the green sky. Looking down,
come back like the dark breaking
that distance into shimmers,
let the memory condense
you, crystallize and come back,
come back for the first time since
to that hill, at which you fly now, you
storm, fall, snow, cover, and wait.
Brandon Amico is from New Hampshire. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The Carolina Quarterly, The Cincinnati Review, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Hunger Mountain, New Ohio Review, Phoebe, Verse Daily, and other journals. You can follow him on Twitter, @amicob, or visit him at www.brandonamico.com.