I Say Now These Are The Soul
How the hell it got here, in the apartment, behind this ugly couch we're so tired of looking at—the leg. • Imagine the rest of it, the rest of them naked, bald— mannequins in the room, seated by old typewriters, clicking word by slow word, late into the night. • Once, in a show on TV—up past midnight when I had the chance—the horror wasn't the dark curly wig, but the slow strange crawl across the kitchen floor. • How parts of us move, grow, in spite of us detach— like mercy, or the idea of mercy, withheld from those who need it most. • A kaleidoscope the size of a finger, forgotten toy— looking through it to blood cells, to flowers on fire, the inner dome of a cathedral, to stars. • All I see now is a landscape of bone, as in Where, where were you pointing, abba? Where exactly? • My favorite blue yo-yo, O the moves I'd master: the loop-the-loop, the sleeper—the dreamer become a dog on a leash, become a baby in a cradle, rocking— • The flying saucer. Or the man on a flying trapeze, had I practiced enough, had we not outgrown wonder— the Eiffel Tower made of string. • Remember grinning, first time flipping through the legend, I whispered No, a headless horse—or a horse with a missing leg. • In The Seventh Seal, how the knight stares at his hand, same hand with which he has, for now, evaded Death— at chess, what else?— • That he can move it, that he can move it at will— miracle enough. • We left it for you—the leg by the curb. We slipped it between two garbage bags.
Timothy Ree lives in Brooklyn, New York, where he teaches literature and writing at a public high school. He holds a BA in English from Wheaton College (IL) and an M.Div from Yale University, and is currently at work on his first manuscript.