Hands

How they chop—
Caress, hold, clasp
Prepare meals, scrub toilets
Clutch the dying, cover the dead
 
Hands hold hands
Worshipping…
 
Their touch—
Pick, sort, pinch
Holding, grabbing, violating
Loving? Loving up and down, exploring
 
Pushing, pulling, scratching, resting
On waists, ripping then wiping
Counters and feet, pressing piano keys
Operating machines, flipping magazines
 
Hands hold hands
Worshipping…
 
Killed, hung, cut, skinned
Taught, wrung, point—
To you? Or to oneself
Slipping spinning hands
 
Folding… holding up
Worlds, a child
Combing hair, bandaging
These hands that mend
 
Scent… wear and tear is
All they carry from one task to the next
Bearing wrinkles, they’ve wielded worlds.
How do they not break, chip, crack, fall…
 
Off to the ground, where would we be
Without these hands that hold me
Up by my knees, and five fingers make
A church steeple, here look Love is all the people
 
Hands hold hands
Worshipping…
 
Rough knuckles bearing dimples—
Map of your life, those hands of yours?
Hands have they hurt have they held
Hands hold hands

 

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