Robert Vaughan
Sometimes he feels like it’s numb

         And sometimes he feels like it’s not numb, usually on vast quantities of meds. When Joe can’t feel anything in his leg, it’s like having an appendage. A fallen elm that woodpeckers have nearly sheared in half with persistent drilling. Other times, it’s like waking up paralyzed from sleeping in a pretzeled position. A bit like walking on a tightrope between the Twin Towers before 9/11. Will it work? Can I get from here to there? Joe wonders why the left and not the right?
          This morning it feels more like the leg is backwards, like an inverted stub. People call it fancy terms that sounds like names of federal prisons. Joe has never had such attention focused on one said leg. On his ass, well, that’s another story.
          The doctor says can you feel this while he pokes pins into Joe’s foot, his thigh, the back of his knees. Joe nearly passes out, not from pain, but from the lack of pain. He can barely stand it. Long ago a lover told Joe the back of his knees was his favorite part of Joe’s body. Joe wishes he could feel that now, thinks prick me, harder.