They tell me--I mean the throat clearers in their white coats--
that my extra hand is a blighted twin,
and that its presence on the right side of my back is not threatening.
Hungering for love like anyone else, I gave in
to someone's touch. In mid-declaration, he found the hand
and jumped away as if electrocuted when he saw what he'd touched.
In church, wearing my customary black,
I pray, and in my prayer, I lie, giving thanks.
The horrid hand crosses itself at the moment of deceit,
and my skin crawls so badly that I nearly scream right there in the pew.
The worst part is that I can't really see it.
I twist painfully, my back to the mirror, but it curls away
like some unholy creature avoiding teeth, or fire.
I curse it, sobbing with frustration, the hand mirror smashed.
At night, the hand traces letters against the skin of my back,
but the language makes no sense except to devils and Gypsies.
My mother brought the doctor, then the priest, upon finding me
blood-drenched and wheezing on the floor in the morning.
Who could blame me, for the knife?
Who could forecast that the thing would defend itself,
at cost of three fingers, one of them mine?
The same doctors performed surgery that afternoon,
pronounced the thing removed and benign,
but I know better, and carry the scars to prove it.
for my own Fireblossom Friday challenge at Real Toads: "It's Only A Paper Moon."