I can’t turn the book’s pages
and my arms turn to stumps.
My armlessness is painless,
my books begin to float.

Mother will not like this, I think, 
then remember that she’s dead. 
I no longer know her
expectations. Gone for five

years and me with no fingers
on which to count them. Is she
studying thermodynamics?
Does she view my books

like flocks of birds? Their flights
are miraculous and clumsy in
empty spaces where my palms
and fingers were once enslaved.