Handless Bride

When he left me, he took
my arms with him.
Walking home from work
I’d watch them
disappearing as if
into a mist, from
fingertips to armhole,
the sleeves of my long
fashionably purple coat
disappearing with them,

but when I got home
to the single bedsit
he’d found for me,
the right-hand fingers
would materialise
in the unheated kitchen
to pick up the knife,
so that each day ended
with the contemplation
of death or vegetables.