Cannot Survive the Wonders

—November 19, 2020 (Nextdoor app)

I, too, am flabbergasted by it. The sky
full of sharp where I expected nothing, the earth
sinking where my foot should’ve met an opposing
force. Weather is a barometer for our resistance
to weather, a year inside and all I got is this T-shirt
worn through at the pits. I threw a rock
from my porch and the world was so empty
it came around, struck the back of my head.
The trees laughed, hacking up leaves. My cats
watch the leaves from the window and I watch
the space around my shins when I open the door
since the cats like to slalom between them to escape.
Within a few pattering steps they freeze;
they see something we don’t or else hear a deep bell
rolling along the air, their ears dowsing rods
pointing back to the house: Oh no, this
is a mistake. Wind or instinct, the outdoors
is a cacophony of a language they know, the weather
speaking plainly of plans, sharpening
its cold fronts, while my holiday is each and any dawn,
my two lives orbiting me like planets
around the house, wife and son. We keep each other
moving as we pass by, a tug of gravity here and there,
a shared motion toward the couch and a moment
away from the new in news, now so sinister.
Every night a bloom of graphs, some fresh hell
greeted with clapping, laughter, a mania,
the cabin-buzz in our heads
so clogged with silences we cannot survive
the wonders of one another, or hear
the names of the dead, God forbid.

Brandon Amico is the author of Disappearing, Inc. (Gold Wake Press, 2019). A 2019 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellow, his poems have appeared in publications including Best American Poetry 2020, Blackbird, The Cincinnati Review, Kenyon Review, and New Ohio Review.