Adam Gianforcaro

ORDER OF OPERATIONS

The bones inside my body have a PhD
in mechanical engineering. For weeks
after I broke my arm, the severed ulna
sprouted a baby bone bridge      
that reached across waterways to connect
our peoples again. Later, when I punched a tree         

& dislocated knuckle to wrist, the former
ultimately found its way back home.
That is not to say my body is a home.
Home is something else altogether.

But back to my body: spine as a didgeridoo,
hips as a Vienna horn, & the music
my body makes branded as classical
mood disorder. A mood too focused on things stuck
inside. Bones as pet store goldfish. Bones
as boxes in the crawl space.

& sometimes my body can’t sleep.
Sometimes the sponge that is my brain
inside the skull that is my head
remembers that hands are skeletons all their own.

27 bones resting next to my pillow. A figure
I thought would have been a prime number
but isn’t. & yet these metacarpals
could teach AP algebra if they had to.
Would ask you to solve for x
when x is a boneyard of forearms. 

& by adulthood, humans are left with 206 bones
though we are born into the world
with 64 more inside of us.
It’s not that 64 bones just disappear. Bones
fuse together, become stronger. As in,

my depression was a bone & my anxiety
was a bone & now they are one ball of stress
inside a single swollen throat. & so finally,
the prime number I was searching for—
stronger now & ready to solve
for whatever equation you throw its way.

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