I Wish Every Day Were Black Friday

What will you do for Money-Burning Day?
I’m making a Christmas tree from concentric circles:
vinyl LPs under 45s, CDs on top with a funnel
threading through the center, a star
propped in its bowl. On March 1st,
the tree comes down and the star is melted
through the funnel then buried beneath
next year’s tree: the pile of old laptops
in the unfinished basement. Remember the time
we painted each side of the house a different color?
Let’s do that again but inside, in each room,
let’s Improve Our Lives by improving
our credenza. This fall on HGTV: the Heart
and its four rooms and two colors. Watch: How every
end-tag starts with a doorway, how every doorway
wishes it were in a body, even if this
would kill the bodies it loves. There are uneven
numbers of exits and entrances due to haphazard
or arguably necessary editing, and when someone
walks backward through a passage
the house creaks, somewhere
it can do so alone. In the Holiday Spirit
I’m putting all my money in Heart futures.
The Fear Index is at [unintelligible noises].
There’s cash in that gold and they’ll even melt it for you.
Bullets are the second most liquid currency,
and on all the graphs they’re rocketing upward,
vibrating at the record player’s dog-only pitch.


Growing Cold

Stationed at the border of house and weather
I don’t sleep. Can’t, I mean, I mean physically
cannot, please, it’s important that you understand.
When did I decide to have a body, when did
I decide but cannot? All honesty; see how the low sun
haloes my bowed head. Not yet dark, but I do
the business of disappearing. Where do the dead go? Statistically
speaking. You must understand, the law of conservation
of energy—I can still hear the screaming. Must be
somewhere, are not, must be somewhere,
am not. Except I am here. And it is growing
cold outside, and I enjoy (I inform) that rhetorical flip—
growing cold, as if in a garden. It warms me,
but can’t. I am heat but only expended. Expent?
Spent. I tend, I lookafter. I am nothing
but nothing, which requires a was-thing. My shift over,
are you not safe, still hearing this in your head, still
a thing? Look at this, the day’s haul—a vacuum cleaner
opened, a mound of ladybugs snatched mid-ingress who tried
to escape the cold, like candy in a dish, a heap of jewels.

BRANDON AMICO is the author of Disappearing, Inc. (Gold Wake Press, 2019). He is a 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, the recipient of a North Carolina Arts Council Regional Artist Grant, and the winner of Southern Humanities Review’s Hoepfner Literary Award for Poetry. His poems have appeared in The Adroit Journal, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review, New Ohio Review, and Verse Daily, among other publications.