The head of the stranger I sat across from disappeared then reappeared then disappeared then and so on. I continued talking and listening to the head even when it wasn’t the voice continued to travel toward from above the and I did not let on that anything strange may be maybe a migraine-induced hallucination that head thought putting me in her place and more distance between us. Did the skin and hair slowly disintegrate or sudden like a jump cut or what did the head look like or said or sounded distracted I must have been by what was and was not not to mention the fact that I was asleep I told the telephone and listened for the voice I didn’t recognize but had at one time spoken to as I would to my self inside my head but kinder. I was that unlikely lonely mealy- mouthed the voice might have said breaking up inside the line.
When it’s not my voice out in front, allowing me to withdraw, it’s my hands, which are better at inflammation, wearing gloves and stripping— once, listening to someone and acting relaxed, my fingers retracting reflexively, as if they held air only and didn’t like the feel of it, broke the empty wine glass and continued holding pieces until the finalee of the story as if still the end product whose function is to empty out— drawing tiny, meticulous self portraits as twins with no hands, the artist says— I left them out because they’re hard to draw— this represents one way to solve a hand problem. Or, this represents how some problems can’t be represented. Or, this represents the way a problem can reproduce such that two problems might be reflections of some other problem. For example, sometimes my hand problem gets so bad I end up with a writing problem.
Suzanne Wise is the author of the poetry collection The Kingdom of the Subjunctive. Her poetry can also be found in current or recent issues of the journals American Letters and Commentary, Bone Bouquet, Catch Up, Green Mountains Review and Quarter After Eight.