Phantom Limb &
While They Sleep

by F.J. Bergmann

Phantom Limb

As the hand (a devoted opéra bouffe fan) applauded wildly, making an indescribable noise, it accidentally broke loose from its moorings. After a futile moment of dithering indecision and utter panic, it falteringly fluttered out into the sunset (alas, merely painted in garish grenadine hues on the backdrop), gashing it grievously. Rebounding from the canvas, it then fell to the icy, rosin-speckled floor with a muffled thump and heartfelt imprecations, and crawled off to sulk. Subsequently, it enlivened its miserable existence by caressing the corn-fed, curvaceous calves of the corps de ballet whenever they unthinkingly brushed against the moldering velveteen curtains where it clung.


While They Sleep

We spend the daylight hours working industriously at the office, studying compulsively at school, or — if we are especially unlucky — wandering through blooming gardens to pluck dark, heavily perfumed flowers, always wearing thick gloves. Then weaving their stems into wire forms. Then loading thousands upon thousands of fresh wreaths into the empty black trucks. We must be home — that is, inside our houses, with the doors locked and the dense curtains drawn — before dark, when they wake up.


F.J. Bergmann lives at the center of the world, or so the map claims — A center, anyway — writing speculative fiction, poetry, and what falls in between. Recent endeavors include the poetry editorship of Mobius: The Journal of Social Change and the editorship of Star*Line. An incorporeal presence is maintained at