Where have these old hands come from?

For my wrists are still young

With smooth brown skin

Underneath layers of long sleeves

Tucked inside cuffs of fabric

Protected from abrasion


Firm wrists, supple, yes

Now, attached to deserts—hands  

Showing ripples from sands

Grey reflected waves

Oceanic tides of dry sky ways

pale moonscape dunes

Bare upon the surface,


High above my hands,

Arms of softness and will

Whose definition, a lost and found of

Strength, reflected by a thousand instances

Along timelines of attraction

Forever pulling my grip up,

Out of rejection into touch

Balanced by bony mass

Intertwined with vessels


My hands hold ground

Picking up dust, layers found

years, polished and tarnished

A rough silver, black geography

Of film, a celluloid life soot

Upturned, exposed indexes

Fingers of palms, bared to catch

Hold, caress, passion’s heat hatch

Now I am ashy, burnt and keloid

If I pick up fire, I will not feel pain


Perhaps, my hands have

Brushed against the wind too often

Saved too many of my falls

Answered endless phone calls

Worked on many projects

Eyes, ears, mouth, checked

Over touched, always touching

To a slippery comfort, clutching


I clench my fists

One more time

All wrinkles and softness fade


22 thoughts on “Clench

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