My Wife’s Left Hand

by Jenny Chu

When the doctor asked which part he wanted to keep, he replied, “Her left hand.”

“Not her heart?”

“No, her heart was weak and wept often.”

“Her brain then?”

“No, it was always getting the best of her instincts.”

The doctor scratched his head with the smooth edge of the hand saw, wrinkling his surgeon’s cap. He looked at the man, blinking behind splatter guard goggles.

“You know, most people take the heart. Set it in a jar and it looks quite pretty on a mantel.”

“I want her left hand.”

The doctor looked at him, saw the man’s eyes gloss over.

“How about her right hand. It’s a little larger?”

“No, it was too dominant and realistic. I want her left hand.”

The doctor shrugged his shoulders and started sawing at the wrist. Rigor mortis had set in and made it a harder cut than the doctor had anticipated. A bead of sweat dripped onto the dead woman’s ring finger. The blood had long been dried up. The doctor wrapped the left hand up in tissue paper the way you would wrap a bouquet of flowers, and tied a piece of twine around the wrist.

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Jenny Chu currently lives in San Francisco but is born and raised in Portland. She always looks for four-leaf clovers because she’s never found one.
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