by Brandon Amico
Ask a bow about duty:
watch its tongue arrow.
Ask the lovers about purchasing cycles:
Ask the poet how the projector moves:
Ask sleep to file
mission statement, depths invoked,
Query the cicada on the branch
which?— until falling,
only its frozen shell.
Ask not what your country has become; trace
the arcing shot of rights through interpretation
and the simple gravity of its enforcement.
Ask not what your mother has done for you—
bounced you down a flight of stairs,
forgotten you at the match —look to what she hasn’t.
A thousand swallowed tacks.
Ask a book what it stands for:
the writer’s vision,
the collective conscious, spine
all cracking open at a touch.
Ask the poem to justify itself—
spring, tilting toward the sun
until the sun engulfs it.
Brandon Amico lives in North Carolina. He is the winner of the Southern Humanities Review Hoepfner Literary Award for Poetry and 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.