Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Alien Hand

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

Alien Hand

Article excerpt

It starts with the seizures, the ones that grip her body in their fist, so tight they crumple life and limb, and so force the surgeons' cut,

that manhole cover of bone in her head - unspeakable, their mercy, how far they go, severing a bridge at the core of knowing.

But it works. The fits subside. At times they nearly vanish, as if what brought them on was the shudder of one self in the mirror of the other.

Which is where the hand comes in. She's not alone. It's a story that flares up time to time, ever since they started in on the central tissues.

For her it's the left, that bitter child of a hand, her oldest conquest, never so unruly and alive. As if it has eyes - that's how

she puts it - the way it grasps at the pointless spoon or shirt, trespassing where it will. She could be anywhere, at a friend's place, say,

where it seizes up on the scruff of his dog, just holding it there, giving it everything. …

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