“…Individuals observing a rubber hand will sometimes attribute sensation to that hand rather than to their own. For example, experimental subjects will make this false attribution if they see the ‘alien hand’ being stroked by a brush while their own equivalent hand is stroked in the same way but is hidden from sight. After a few minutes, they will ‘feel’ the stroking on the rubber hand , even though it is separate from their body, rather than in their own, hidden, hand. It seems that the brain has attributed the sensation to a physically distinct object within its field of vision, and in the process, it has somehow incorporated that alien object into the body.” (Rose & Abi-Rached, 207)
“The chosen fragment converts itself into a text no longer a bit of a text, a part of a sentence or a discourse, but a chosen bit, an amputated limb, not yet a transplant, but already an organ, cut off and placed in reserve.” Antoine Compagnon
I fear the revelation of seams: I will wake up and realize I am patchwork—
Joints are just operable disjunctions, and I have learned to ignore the sutures. If I spend my hours parsing parts,
I’ll lose my self between the meat.
My neurons are phonemes placed in synaptic sentences.
Hands are a point of manipulation: sculpting, digits to clay.
Hands are a point of integration: eating, digits to lips.
How much trust must we lend before something is rendered identifiable?
How absent must our own hands be before we begin to feel for another’s?
Empathy is a loophole in our theory of mind—
Will our own hands dissolve if we don’t look at them enough?
Hands signify humanity: they are flesh turned culture, rods of carbon capable of theft.
Hands, organs of bunched flesh, are the means of mediating self and other, to a point of contamination: hands become other. Culturally portent, there is a reason for the cinematic trope of the revolting hand—a hand in revolt. Although disembodied, a hand refuses to die; it has yet to recognize a dis-integration.
We incorporate, and wait for our body to betray us.
Trust comes easy.
Trust, our fleshless organ.