Jobless, 26, a ghastly scab marching
from the base of my skull down
my neck; beside me, my father kneels at the curtained
threshold with a saucepan of warm
water. Steam obscures the boundaries between
me and my past self, 6, smiling, slamming
the head of a red power ranger on faded
ceramic tiles—oblivious, amphibious,
blanched in bathwater. My father sees me
pruning memories and, politely, turns,
knowing well the subatomic gossip always
whispering inside our bones. My father,
the policeman, who inhaled god-knows-what when
the city really didn’t sleep. When who he is now
stepped out from debris like a gray-tarnished twin.
We are a kind of pentimento. Me and me
and him all living like stubborn
brushstrokes in a gilded frame.
Anthony Borruso is pursuing his Ph.D. in creative writing at Florida State University, where he is an assistant poetry editor for Southeast Review. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in The American Journal of Poetry, Pleiades, Spillway, The Journal, THRUSH, Moon City Review, decomP, Frontier Poetry, and elsewhere.