GOLD THAT FRAMES THE MIRROR
In Brandon Melendez's debut poetry collection, Gold That Frames the Mirror, nothing sung can truly be lost. Orbiting a daisy-chain of fascinations that range from heritage & family to grief, music, & mental illness, these poems want to know what "home" means, even when the answers can seem too blood-bright to bear staring at. Yet do not mistake Melendez for a poet of an uncomplicated sadness: even when he writes of deep loss, there is the possibility of wonder & joy. Drawing from a wellspring of profound bewilderment present in his images as well as how language assumes—or is assumed by—form, Melendez knows poetry, like home, is something we carry with us in our bodies. Every certainty and every wonderment in Gold That Frames the Mirror is come by honestly and with Melendez's unwavering & tender scrutiny. Here is a book haunted by history but never in service of it. Here is a book that wants to know what comes after elegy, when the gods slink back into their heavens, when we are only left with the names of our dead & the good, dark earth. Melendez offers something like a prayer against overlooking the past & to remember where the gold came from. After all, "Anywhere can become you / once you forget / how you got there."