These two poems by Anthony Borruso scrutinize the body and its ability to weather both physical and psychic upheavals. Living with an unseen neurological condition called Chiari Malformation, Anthony’s words are incisive, cinematic, and interested in the potential of surgery as transformative metaphor…
by: Anthony Borruso
The Knife The knife wants to cut into you metaphorically—like a lover or therapist. It sniffs around your wrist and up the white underside of your arm. It knows the petty gripes you have with your body, the vague marks you’ve made upon it. The knife looks at you, clinically, tensely, gauging the color of your remorse, measuring the dimensions of dreams you lug to bed each night in a burlap sack. You deserve each other.
In Preparation of Storms This is it— The black before. Overpriced popcorn and previews of caped crusaders crusading in sequels to reboots. This is the prelude, the teapot steeped in heat, the foreword of westbound shadows scripted on clouds. Shuttered windows, sandbags, twine- wrapped garbage cans. You can hear Frank O’hara insist, you don’t refuse to breath do you. And, like Frank, you begged to see the show, the forbidden dark delights, those obscene NC-17 scenes ascending to sighs. It’s true, you have been breathing. Breathing and burning a vanilla- scented candle, as the eye passes over the Bahamas and turns toward the mainland. And why wouldn’t it want to watch us squirm under its retroactive wrath, its antique, old testament rage? Dear Frank, poised at his Olivetti, raining fingers in post-lunch rapture, you don’t refuse to breathe do you. Sometimes a hurricane comes along. It just happens. Or you make it happen, something about high pressure and low pressure sets it spinning and all you can do is sit there with your stubborn lungs, their elastic rebellion.
Anthony Borruso is pursuing his Ph.D. in Creative Writing at Florida State University where he is a Poetry Editor for Southeast Review. He has been a Pushcart Prize nominee and was selected as a finalist for Beloit Poetry Journal’s Adrienne Rich Award by Natasha Trethewey. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Beloit Poetry Journal, Pleiades, Spillway, The Journal, THRUSH, Moon City Review, CutBank, Frontier, and elsewhere.