a farewell to arms
he might have waved goodbye to his arms if he still had one
to wave with.
as it was he could only nod meaningfully, an almost
imperceptible smile to his lips
goodbye, arms, he thought, as they flew away from him
fare-thee-well, arms! he shouted in his thoughts.
his arms leaving him had happened so naturally that it was
not unlike when baby birds shed their mother’s succor and
fly from the nest
never to return
his arms were never to return
somehow he knew this
he knew his arms were flying to greener pastures
he remembered the odd feeling of pain when his arms’
OW! he remembered thinking.
he remembered the wings’ slow growth and the brief sense
he had that the arms’ wings
would take him with them when they finally flew
he was excited to fly
but it was fine when his arms tore away, laces of sinewy muscle
pulled apart, and flew off
he was okay that the arms weren’t strong enough to lift him
into the air
or that they didn’t even attempt to
it was ok because sometimes that’s the way it went
arms left you with nothing to say but take care of yourselves
out there in the wide open
Matt Rowan lives in Los Angeles, with his wife and daughter. He currently edits Untoward Magazine. He’s author of two story collections, Big Venerable (CCLaP, 2015), Why God Why (Love Symbol Press, 2013) and another, How the Moon Works, forthcoming from Cobalt Press. He’s also a contributing writer and voice actor for The Host podcast series. His short story, “The Ok Grocery Store Corral,” was long-listed by The Wigleaf Top 50 (Very) Short Fictions 2013. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in TRNSFR, Spork, HAD, Rejection Letters, Always Crashing, Grimoire, and Necessary Fiction, among others.