culture

Phantom limb

February 16, 2019 – Brylle B. Tabora

A soldier loses his left arm in the war.
A grenade he has mistaken for a rock. 
A young man at 25, with bowl-cut hair, 
he comes home from a drinking session
and goes over to the field to take a leak. 
He picks the thing up: a good joke 
to tell his friends he has found 
a piece of the Yamashita treasure.
‘This is the solution to all our problems.’ 
Then a bright white flash blinds his eyes.
That was many years ago. 
‘This is what seven years of military service
does to you,’ he says to his children at dinner.
At night, he goes to bed and wraps his wife
with his good arm and cups her breasts.
He falls fast asleep before he is awoken 
by a pricking sensation in his left arm,
like an army of crawling ants.
One day, he visits his doctor
who tells him this is a good sign.
He decides to have a few drinks.
He gets home half past midnight.
His hand reaches for the door 
and fumbles for the knob,
feeling the coldness of it
like the grenade.



Art by Karl Davin Hui



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