Hands

Your hands reached across the table

Alabaster. With hints of vein underneath

Chipped nail polish. It was black, it was dark

They lay on the table, an invite to heal

 

I remember those hands when they were mine

When your hands always entwined between

My fingers, like our bodies once. When those

Hands traced infinite patterns across

 

Trailing my body, words spelled impossibly,

but always read as love, in language unknown

And I, forever, hold those hands in my heart

The place were the universal language lives

 

I once sat in your class, a sermon on divinity

And throughout, across from me, you drew

Your pencil created a hand, yours at rest

While you drew with the other, creating you

 

I cried in front of you, neither once nor twice

I have lost count of the times I sobbed

As I looked at the woman you were becoming

The woman you became, the woman you are

 

You touched me when my hurt slipped

Into the tangle of my beard and they carved

Lines I’d wear forever, perhaps invisible to you

Striations of fingernails carving out tears

 

Your hand wrapped around mine. I imagined.

Memories and fantasy of a world untrue

When that hand that held me, was mine

And the storm abated, you held found me

 

Your hand pulled me from precipice,

A small gesture, but it was real enough

And it centred me. Calmed me. Made real.

That you could be across from me

 

And that chasm of time and hurt was mended

our hands in a place we could never be again

Together, wrapped around each other

With love that held on, no matter what comes

 

But those were just our hands, weren’t they.

That’s what you’d say. I know as much.

But I felt your hand on my neck, that small

Innocent gesture meant the world to me.

 

Your hand once waved and in it, I saw love

I imagined forgiveness and reunion and hoped

But I was a child. I still am. A fool to think it.

Your hand began a story, written over years.

 

The story isn’t over, unlike you and I

Time has taken its toll, and it weighs terribly

And so that hand that once held me

I let go of, and my fingers unwrap and I am

 

Gone

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