I have known days held
like a matador’s cape, as the trained
sun kicks up dirt. It is more
like a man
to wear these clothes. It is easier
to speak volumes with craw-
stuffed stitching and leave the wind
to articulate. If you hold
the fabric the right way, you can have an
without opening your mouth:
Hello, says one breeze, How about
coffee? another. Each spat of wind I like
you; I love you; I don’t
any more; words
as illusions—never really there.
It looks like there is a body
behind the cape. Some-
times there still is,
if you can get through to the quiet flesh
in the suit that won’t stop talking.
How many corners
the grin can have, all the
labyrinths sewed into the gaudy
outfit of the bullfighter, the distractions
of fuchsia and omni-lingual gold—
how much sharper for the English native
to leave out “of bulls” and deem him
matador: killer. How words
Anyone who has ever said they can’t
tie a necktie is doing it wrong; it is supposed
to tie itself, to slither around
and through until the Windsor knot
is wrapped tight enough to hide the
apple in your throat
and your chest sports a forked tongue.
It was surely a man
who first painted the fig leaves. They fell
out of his eyes, jealous
of the ripe fruit’s claim on gravity.
For hundreds of years Eve’s mouth
remained unpainted while
men’s suits gained more pockets,
as was the fashion. I once over-
heard a man at a funeral say it
was a damn shame, wasting
a suit by burying a man in it.
We hang ourselves
in closets every night. The epaulets
of the matador hide the hanger
marks that grasp his shoulders.
Did you think me
bold? Did you think me bestial,
wounded, maddened or sad—did you
know me lost or human
when I lifted my shirt off, high
enough to puncture the light?
I have known clothes to fall
this way. I have seen how the
carpet wears them, in ways
we never could: effortlessly.
BY BRANDON AMICO
Brandon Amico is a writer from Manchester, New Hampshire whose poetry has been featured in magazines including Word Riot, > kill author, elimae, and Amethyst Arsenic. While in school, Brandon was an editor of Aegis, the University of New Hampshire’s student literary magazine. He is the 2012 recipient of the Richard M. Ford Writing Award for poetry.