limb lost - Eden Breinich

i have phantom limb syndrome

or at least, i think i do

my limbs are intact, 

i’m just

missing something,

that hurts

that’s real

that was


there are signs, my therapist agrees

like the way that i can’t say the word 


out loud

or the way i struggle to even write it

the way that public restrooms are a car crash and 

i can’t seem to go, can’t un-hit the brake, 

because someone missed

the stop sign

the stop sign

the stop sign

the stop sign


the children crossing sign


i can’t remember when i lost it

just that i did, in that wreck

broken hymen, windshield glass

i guess i went too fast, too hasty

too short to see


i don’t know who was driving

i don’t know if i ever will

i don’t know if i want to

do i know them still?


it’s hidden away, but it’s there

this phantom limb is real

that part of me is always screaming

i lost something, damn it

and you can say i’m not broken

but it just won’t reattach


i get so angry i can’t see straight

tears blur all the green, yellow, red circles of light

so i don’t drive for fear of spiraling,

spinning out,

losing control or having it taken away,


no ends can justify these means

so i keep my limbs far away from the vehicle at all times

i keep me safe

or at least, i think i do

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