After the Accident by Kathleen Boyle

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image of a left hand

You have to use the other hand, your left hand. Everything is different, and not only because you have the constant pain of bones knitting themselves back together in your right arm. Everything is different because you do it left-handed. Writing, turning knobs, washing an apple, bringing a fork to your mouth. Left hand has become drunk with power, you joke with your sister as right hand rests mute and elevated beneath an icepack. It is like when you’ve put your contacts into the wrong eye. Left-handed writing: hard to read, not quite the creative outpouring you hoped for. After some months you think you are better, more or less, right hand can grasp and hold a pen, but still there is that afternoon when showering in your boyfriend’s narrow shower when you keep dropping the jumbo-sized bar of soap, bending to pick it up, the soap slithering out of your hand again and again until you collapse in tears and sit there naked and crying against the smooth tiles, unable to explain why you are sobbing.


Kathleen Boyle’s work has appeared in Zyzzyva, the Atlantic Online, the Seattle Review, Crab Creek Review, and many other publications. She was recently nominated for her first Puschart Prize.
STORY IMAGE CREDIT: Flickr Creative Commons/ken-banks

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