The Body

By Marianne Boruch b. 1950 Marianne Boruch
has its little hobbies. The lung
likes its air best after supper,
goes deeper there to trade up
for oxygen, give everything else
away. (And before supper, yes,
during too, but there’s
something about evening, that
slow breath of the day noticed: oh good,
still coming, still going ... ) As for
bones—femur, spine,
the tribe of them in there—they harden
with use. The body would like
a small mile or two. Thank you.
It would like it on a bike
or a run. Or in the water. Blue.
And food. A habit that involves
a larger circumference where a garden’s
involved, beer is brewed, cows
wake the farmer with their fullness,
a field surrenders its wheat, and wheat
understands I will be crushed
into flour and starry-dust
the whole room, the baker
sweating, opening a window
to acknowledge such remarkable
confetti. And the brain,
locked in its strange
dual citizenship, idles there in the body,
neatly terraced and landscaped.
Or left to ruin, such a brain,
wild roses growing
next to the sea. The body is
gracious about that. Oh, their
scent sometimes. Their
tangle. In truth, in secret,
the first thing
in morning the eye longs to see.

Source: Poetry (June 2006).

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2006 issue of Poetry magazine

June 2006
 Marianne  Boruch

Biography

Poet and essayist Marianne Boruch grew up in Chicago. She is the author of seven collections of poetry, including, most recently, The Book of Hours (2011); Grace, Fallen from (2008); and Poems: New & Selected (2004). Her memoir, The Glimpse Traveler (2011), concerns a hitchhiking trip she took in 1971. In the Blue Pharmacy (2005) and Poetry’s Old Air (1995) are collections of her prose on poetry. In an interview with Brooke . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Activities, The Body, Eating & Drinking, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Free Verse, Metaphor

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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