An Amputation

My brother’s tattooed arm now ends mid koi fish.
Imagine the outline where his right hand was,
the ocean days and sick nights
when the virus ate him.

Alive! You say there is glory and magic
to waking up after part of you has died.
Lost in a maze of hospital curtains,
you are leaving the world slowly, bit by bit.

Each day we are used to a little less of you.
No appendix, tonsils, spleen or hand.
No violin, no pen, no paintbrush.
No hand in mine as we watch the winter take its toll.

You listen to Mozart in the dark room
your stump twitching in its bandages
with the ghosts of fingers longing for a bow.


Copyright © 2010 AK Jackson


A.K Jackson is a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College. She was born in Syracuse, NY and raised between there and Southern New Jersey, but has recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA. She writes poetry, essays and creative non-fiction and is working on her first collection of poems.