April 1, 2017 orangeq2017

Phantom Limb

Bryce Emley


It isn’t so much a swan dive into dirt,
not the way eyes swallowed stars or
the surprising dead weight of a head
or the tongues that were spoken,
every syllable churning to blood in a
throat; it isn’t the splitting of ribs or
the splitting of the Earth to accept a
body after three days or the splitting
of parents one year after that; it isn’t
even the three rotations of a Chevy
or the smoke its engine hacked into
the night or the human-sized hole
that snowflaked its windshield that
I have yet to bury with time and
dreaming, that I have drafted into
constellation, that has stitched a ghost
into the patchwork of my memory
and taught me the levity of youth:
it’s a phantom limb, an unnamable
absence, a never being able to know
exactly what it is I’m still mourning
and still mourning it.


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