Phantom Itch

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The wind moaning
through the patio screen
sings a raspy song
bamboo chimes dance
                                        click, tinkle
like bones in my skull
I tick my teeth
and reach for a cigarette
but there is not one there
and for how long?
there is not even an ashtray
but it’s my missing appendage
I still feel the itch
they say it’s my imagination
but I can hear the electricity
flowing through the wires
and the bees on wildflowers
hum in tune
so I turn my guitar upside down
and drum in time
to my eccentricity
not yet diagnosed
but I feel the itch
                                         tick, tick
goes my teeth
as I tap my toes
and ask my love to dance
I reach out my right hand
to take hold of hers
but grasp only air
I look over
and there is not even a chair
but I leave my hand
open in that place
because she was my appendage
and I still feel the itch.


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