Boiling PotHow To Eat a Human Hand

How To Eat a Human Hand was published by the Dalhousie Review in their Spring 2016 issue.

“By the time he washed ashore, sun-seared and salt-whipped, the man’s memory seemed to have been erased, his vision bombed by an unrelenting sun. There was no literacy to lose; he had never been able to read. Something about his slight stature, his open weeping when he was fished from the mass of Styrofoam that had carried him to shore, made him seem like Moses in the reeds. The mangled fingers of his right hand were bulbous with infection, forcing removal at the wrist during his first few hours back on land.

“The 24-hour news cycle wasted no time theorizing on his origins, baptizing him with a bankable name later attached to a platinum-priced survival school. His ancestry was debated while his vision cleared and trays of congealing hospital food brought his body back from skeletal. Telegenic experts told the nightly news hosts that data from a lung biopsy suggested he was a native of pristine highlands. Others insisted his toenail clipping told a different story, one of bathing in water laced with substances invented in labs. Attendants wondered at his pain tolerance, watching him make vigorous motions with his healing stump, almost as though twisting necks with his phantom grip.

“Memories of his far-off island returned in dreams, although he admitted this to no one. First, visions of his father’s farm, the rain pinging off the slanted tin roof, drenching spindly potato plants and a patch of coffee-studded shrubs. Mornings of wispy mist, afternoons of squinting against bright sun. A rotation of two grubby sweaters to combat evenings of bone-drilling damp. He resisted waking from rare dreams of riding the two-wheeler, remembering that delicious feeling of flying brought by standing on the back wheel hub, hugging his brother’s scrawny shoulders as the dappled sunlight lent a disco effect to their rapid descents.”

Read more here: How To Eat a Human Hand.

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