"Sometimes, on its own, it crawls tarantulan across the autumn leaves. It is looking for something."
Samuel J Fox
Samuel J Fox is a bisexual essayist/poet living in the Southern US. He is poetry editor for Bending Genres, a creative nonfiction reader for Homology Lit, and has been published in numerous places. He enjoys coffee shops, dilapidated places, and graveyards depending. Find him on Twitter (@samueljfox).
"Severance" I cut off my left hand. I cut off my left hand and placed it in a hole in the trunk of an elm tree. In the trunk of the elm tree, my hand slept for a year. After the year, it woke. It woke and began living on its own. Sometimes, on its own, it crawls tarantulan across the autumn leaves. It is looking for something. Across the autumn leaves, I sometimes hear it from inside my cottage. Inside my cottage, my wife has been sleeping for ten years. She hasn’t woke up; I don’t think she will. My left hand walks on its fingertips. My left hand is looking for something. It still wears my wedding band. My wedding band still has the splatter of congealed blood where I cut of my left hand. My wife hasn’t taken a breath but I know she’s still dreaming. She’s still dreaming and so am I. I watch my left hand scurry around in the yard below, trying to get in, trying to come inside. I don’t let it. It scratches like a mutt on the back door. Listen: if falling in love is what you want, be prepared to lose everything. Love commands of us tokens of proof, commands for us to sacrifice more than just what we want to offer. It commands us give everything. I could not. I cut off my left hand. Tonight, on our anniversary, I let it in. It skitters past me. Climbs the bed sheets. Lays down in the spaces between the fingers of my sleeping wife’s right hand.