Brian Koukol


(listen to the poem, read by the author)

I see my evolution sketched in pencil—
less The March of Progress
than the march of progression
toward muscle cells
that ideate
and gesture
and attempt
and succeed.

I see my debilitation in the layers of my armrest—
like flakes of human clay
muddied into fragile shale—
from the dog-dayed romance of
naugahyde and short-sleeved skin
to the stone-cold shoulder of
a chronic winter coat;
the inexorable slide of limb toward precipice
stymied by a handful of rubber bands,
a wrap of tacky elastic bandage,
a spiral of hockey tape,
a fleeced lamb.
But still that petrified little arm
and gestured
and attempted
and finally fell for good.

About the Author

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 Baltimore Review, GigaNotoSaurus, and Rogue Agent, among other places. Visit his author website:

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