It starts with the heart’s pulse
nourishment from other as if self
before we’re spit into this slip slap of blue
indifferent ground that shatters bone
if we fall too long
yet sometimes hands, like whispers,
rustle through loss’s deep well
to retrieve silken strands
rewoven then into something like wings
that expand beyond the contraction of loss
and whisper through the dark
you are not alone.
Thank you to the editors of 5AM for first publishing this poem.
Contagious as your hummingbird smile may be,
it is your hands…
hands that sculpt ki into a dragon’s mouth
with arcs of mother-of-pearl framing rainbow flames
that smell of warm milk and nutmeg, while your
touch draws the breath of muscle to bone,
Too few lines cross your hands,
large, almost too large, they hold the sea.
Ki–Japanese word meaning energy or life force.
Thank you to the editor of Something Like Homesickness for first publishing this poem.
Possibility of Hands
I hold your hand
palm up, lace your
fingers with mine,
stretch the palm wide
so my thumbs can press
tight muscles into pools
of softened warmth;
open, your hand could
slap a child’s face,
brush away crumbs,
press the sternum for
shape the sides of
a porcelain bowl
while fingers curved could
pull a trigger—crosshair
parting the bridge between
eyes, press rounded keys to
blow jazz through
brass, suture severed
flesh with catgut and needle—
within this skin
no purpose but life.
Thank you to the editors of Poets for Peace and http://lit.carayanpress.com for publishing this poem.
a river stone
where wings would grow
if we could bear
Thank you to the editors of ¡ZamBomba!: literary magazine for first publishing “Massage.”