With a Chance of Hindrance

by Stephen Danos


Bloated medial nerve renders
inoperative my dominant hand.
I exist now as a network
of numbness pinched
and coddled, ligaments
unsure of themselves.
I’m posed in restraints
like a punished god
awaiting judgment
from a hill of red lab coats.


The surgery is a worst-case
blaring. When I rotate my wrist
counter-clockwise, I decide
on becoming ambidextrous.
I decide the scalpel handshake
is a humdinger. I try to hum
a little for poise.


Repetitive tasks ransacked
my carpal tunnel. All bells
and whistles. Aspirations
of bellowing a slow
stomach grumble.


The serene nature of sulfur
puts me to sleep. A trove
of smelling salts, the sound
of a man washing his hands
in satisfaction. The centripetal force
of a job done well.

Stephen Danos is author of a poetry chapbook, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N BKS, 2012). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in 1913, Bateau, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, Forklift Ohio, inter | rupture, ILK, Radioactive Moat, Toad, and elsewhere. He serves as an Assistant Editor for YesYes Books and co-curates The Dollhouse Reading Series in Chicago.

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