OF MY HANDS

The pieces of my body
which I believe fit my framework best
are the ten spindly twigs
ending on a pair of branches that have been
passive against the strength of wind
for decades, constantly trying
to shake away the leaves of autumn
even when the leaves
have already given way to winter’s brutality,
stronger than all other seasons’—
even when combined.

My grasping hands,
my clutched fists, my cracking knuckles,
my shaking branches, those spindly twigs,
my anxious fingers are prepared to scream
like the heavy wind which haunts them,
prepared to frighten the frightening,
to remove from their cavity the bone
needed to build the womanly form,
a form which cannot reach the idea
of the ideal my hands will create.
My hands know better than I:
all that I long to achieve,
all that I wish to revel in,
all that I need to experience,
every bit of grace I find,
every vision of hope I see,
every idea of heaven I have
cannot be had
once my body has chosen wisely
to pass,
and therefore I must achieve,
revel, experience, find, see,
and hold heaven in my hands
when my hands
are still available for holding.

Before my branches
and their twigs fall
into the arms of the earth
and its grounds,
I must be sure to sway.

I must.
These pieces of my framework—
my best pieces, I guarantee—
deserve to be put
to their greatest use, to hold
all they can carry, and to be.
My hands must be the authors
of my many passions, the artists
of my desires, the couple bent
on knowing best
and pleasing the womanly form
of their creation.
These pieces, I have no doubt,
are my hands, and,
always joining them,
their fruitful abilities.

If you doubt
my praise, lend me your hand
and I’ll show you all mine can do.
I have felt the winds of winter;
I do not fear your air. Nothing
you say can manage to escape
what I, at one time or another,
have already said to myself.
My thoughts
and the use of my hands
led to your arrival,
so I am prepared to catch
all you have to throw, bear
any weight you can no longer, and
hold your hands when they are cold.
Even if you are the wind
and I remain as brittle branches,
I still will stand with you
as you make me sway.

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