you always could recite the lessons by heart without reading
a single drop of ink, saying, "no, it's actually
this way, not that"
at twenty-two the world suddenly shrinks, violently, in a nice little pop
and then it's quiet, on the streets and under very normal street lamps
normal but for the hole shaped vaguely like you
that stares at me as I walk home, always standing across the street,
a missing limb, I imagine, would go something like this: first,
the body says, "this is where your arm used to be, now it is
then it would fade, and you could look down and out of the corner of your eye, still
see the limb, not feel it,
and perhaps mourn, deep down, the phantom pains.