Alternative Uses for Guitar Pick Snagged at a Bon Jovi Concert in 1986
Ineffective monocle. Ill-fitting bottle cap.
Lint remover. Slow comb.
Badge of honor. Down payment. Souvenir
from a year
everyone would rather forget.
Patch for that rip in the screen door.
Bowl of tears. Ninja star.
Bandage to hold together the ragged edges
of my parents’ marriage. Lighter for cigarettes
stolen from purse, pocket, bedside table.
Petal on a wet, black drumstick.
across the letters of my name,
erasing as it goes.
Any of us may have something and not know it:
better someone else assemble the full picture.
Each winter the same old man
has a heart attack
while shoveling snow.
Icicles form, stretch, fall. The translucent green plastic awning
at the side door
fractures along the lines of the capital H
that announces our family name to the world.
Years later. You are the old man.
You drive south out of the snow.
The heart attacks continue.
I am glad you’re drinking less. I am glad
you have a dog, company
for those long nights on the road. I imagine
you must tell him about your marriages—
the long one, the short one, the annulled one.
Amorak Huey, a 2017 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow in poetry, is author of the poetry collection Ha Ha Ha Thump (Sundress, 2015) and the chapbooks The Insomniac Circus (Hyacinth Girl, 2014) and A Map of the Farm Three Miles from the End of Happy Hollow Road (Porkbelly, 2016). He is also co-author with W. Todd Kaneko of the forthcoming textbook Poetry: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology (Boomsbury, 2018) and teaches writing at Grand Valley State University in Michigan.