Brian Koukol


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They, meaning those not damned to life
as an intractable husk,
incapable of effective movement,
shackled by a conspiracy of gravity and
wasted muscle
not to a deathbed, but a dyingbed;
forever fading, detaching, yearning.

They, meaning those ignorant typicals
who misconstrue
the greatest emancipator since Lincoln
as a pitiable device
that binds, confines, sidelines.

They, meaning those who count
themselves awake when their eyes part,
rather than when their wheelchair starts,
the click of its twin motors crying
liberty, equality, fraternity
to the tyrant immobility.

They, meaning those unable
to fathom the miraculous joys
of moving, of interacting, of existing
in this shared reality
when atrophy and entropy demand otherwise.

They, meaning those who may yet get their epiphany,
when thoughtless chain-smoking
leads to mortal Cheyne-Stoking
and they sprawl on their dyingbed,
yearning for wheels.


Brian Koukol, raised in the suburbs of Los Angeles, now makes his home among the salt breezes and open spaces of California's Central Coast. A lifelong battle with muscular dystrophy has informed the majority of his work, which is written with the aid of voice recognition software. His words have appeared in The Delmarva Review, The Doctor T. J. Eckleburg Review, and Phantaxis Magazine. Visit his author website: