The first time I read about a phantom limb in a poem I honestly was fine with it. I’m a compassionate person. I always begin on the side of the poet. By the 100th time I read a phantom limb in a poem, I thought: This is getting a little ridiculous. What are the poets actually trying to say? Do they know how often they use this language? Do they think it’s original? My hope is that it’s some kind of poetry initiation by an underground cabal: “Drop the phrase phantom limb in your work and we will give you the keys to the KGB Bar. It has lots of stairs, so you’ll need lots of legs.”


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