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Klaryssa May 2016
Some people identify other people by their names
Their aliases they carry
The things they have made
The things they have collected
I like to know people by their hands
A first meeting requires the extension of a palm
The act of dancing requires hands
The art of getting to know you is by grasping your fingers

My hands are sweaty
I am nervous
I bite my bottom lip
You look down at me
Not in depreciation
But in admiration
In a way that your 6’1 presence becomes safer
You reach out and retrieve my hands from my pockets
They say eyes hold our souls, I was too busy looking at your hands

They held your roots, held your dog, held your mother’s hand when you were held the first time
When you ever cried for the first time you claimed her finger in your tiny palm
Like a fist protesting loneliness
You held it up like a secret you wouldn’t keep on your tongue any longer

School was the place where you held pencils racing against time and stress to memorize your multiplication tables
You wrote spelling words out in study hall

            And over

                                And over

                                                    And over again.

To memorize the letters and the syllables in order to ingrain them on your brain
You reached out and touched the stove because your insatiable curiosity wasn’t ever satisfied with hearing
“Don’t touch! It’s hot!”
The first time you were ever burned
You learned through your fingertips
Your fingerprints forever marked on everything,
An entire universe exists in places you have been
Another plane for things that have pieced your soul together
With stitches
From careful hands
Quilting your memories

The scars that mark the backs of them fascinate me
I connect them like constellations that will explain your mind to me
I get to hold them
Those hands in mine

You say you can see my life in my eyes
But life starts from the hands,
Your mother clutched the treasure in her stomach the first time she realized the idea of you, manifested into cells multiplying apart
She was protecting you from the outside world
You knew you were safe before your brain could process thought
You had felt love for the first time
Your first love, her hands.

Hands are judged before personalities
Hands are the first things people witness
You held back tears in your eyes with your fingers, peeking through the cracks to see if playground bullies learned to walk away before your hands discovered what it felt like to form fists

You paint with your hands
And the remnants of a colorful past lies in your palms

My father taught me a man is worth his handshake
He taught me that callouses marked our futures
And slamming hammers whistling tunes of a day when gloves would protect him
Consumed him in  youthful hope
And things we overcome became our characters
He told me you can tell the “good ones” from the “bad ones” based upon the integrity in the thumbs
Do they stand on the sidelines?
Or connect with yours, firmly reaching for more truth

Some people have hard hands that tell a sad story with hopeful dreams
You can tell the intentions through the eyes
But they are carried out with the hands
Some hands choke on words as they twist around nervously unsure of what to say
After all, body language 101 wasn’t taught in elementary school

Your hands have kissed a lot of air
They are dried and firm and balanced
You have fingernails like college students writing notes
They are learned  on what you have touched
Remnants of fuzz and crumbs beneath them from things you found in your jean pockets

I run my finger over the back of your hand
I feel as if I have traveled through mountains and rivers and deserts
It becomes a familiar landscape before I jump into the valleys where your fingers start to spread out like the roots of a tree
Your hands are your roots
They hold you firm
They hold me in place
I was going to fall
They caught me-
Your roots

Hands are weapons
Hands are shields
Hands are warnings
Hands are promises

Hands are sometimes all we have
If I only ever had yours, I would be just fine.
just trying to get back into the flow of things.
sweet ridicule Aug 2015
kiss me with mango sherbet
in your mouth and sticky
orange tinted lips
these car tires are growing old
but I am young with three
dimples on my face
callouses on my fingertips
of my left hand
stop with the
'you're scared'
in which century does
refusal amount to fear
liberation by the pen drawings
on my hand consumes me
individuality is not dead I
am here
with fiery intent occasionally lost in
a girly figure with a small
waist and awkward ankles
don't dance alone dance a soliloquy
like the bruise on my neck

(labors of love are not
merely towards humans)
good night

— The End —