Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Gone

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Gone

Article excerpt

The hand would come toward my face, stopping just inches away from my chin - my hand, I knew, but I couldn't see it fingers splayed and waving, as if playing an air piano or scaling stairs made tiny for mice - it moved to face my face, palm like a mirror held close to my nose, and still I saw nothing - fingers receding, slipping through darkness like worms in earth - I'd let it hover above my blanket, the hand numbing, all tingly, my arm locked straight like a rifle. I'd keep it there, trying to decide if I'd gone blind in my sleep, holding that hand - all fiery with hurt - over the mattress until the pain felt like light suffusing my cells, my muscles flared and burning. I'd flex my hand into a fist then fling my fingers out - expecting sparks to spring from them, opening my eyes wider to peer at only more blackness - like looking down a well toward its bottom, thinking the bottom saw too and zoomed up from the ground's core like a snake tongue uncurling, the darkness lashing at you when you weren't looking. …

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