Mar. 13, 2011
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I have no words with which to tell you where I have been since
I saw you last.

—Sherwood Anderson

He tells everyone he is left
handed, squeezing an empty
sleeve where his right arm
no longer swings. He left the shredded
appendage, ditched the pieces,
he says, in an Afghan ditch.
Never again will he be right
handed nor will he be right:
correct, he says, not right,
correcting himself: his right
now to refuse to use the word.
Different, he’d stress, this is, than to say
wounded equals weak, or to say
he’s damaged goods: it leans too much
on good. God now appears in groceries
dropped and fumbled keys.
Goddamn it, he says, as apples roll and eggs,
freed from their carton, break.
It. Goddamn it. It is
everything. The Id thrown off
balance, a new battle ensues
between Super-ego and Id:
how to remove the military
from the mind, how to rid
subconscious encounters with an IED.
Remove the E and the Id
returns and wins. Remove the D, the IE
remains, i.e….id est…that is. Impossible,
it is, to do. In the end, he is left
alone to carry his weightless arm.

Drew Blanchard’s writing has appeared in Best New Poets and literary magazines, including Notre Dame Review, Guernica Magazine, Gulf Stream Magazine, and Meridian. Salmon Poetry published his first book of poems, Winter Dogs, in February of 2011. He will be reading from the new collection at Woodland Pattern on April 6 at 7:00 pm.


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