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BellaOnline Literary Review
Tentacles by Christine Catalano

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My Sinister Limb

Mark J. Mitchell

My left leg is dying—all by itself—
Ahead of schedule. There’s almost no pain
but an angry rash is writing its name
in Latin along my calf. My trick knee’s
nervous, but still as a book on a shelf
I never dust. I can wait. Maybe see

a doctor if that check slips through the door.
Or ask friends for hints of discounted balms,
unguents or spells. I’ll remain very calm
until the foot disappears and I tilt
to one side. This leg just slid through the floor
of time on its own. Fear, maybe, guilt.

Maybe the left one was just neglected.
My fault, I guess. It thought it would age like
the rest of my body. It wouldn’t hike
off on its own and die—a wounded beast.
A lifetime guarantee—I expected
it to last, not need a separate priest.