Hands in the Mirror


Hands in the mirror lifting towards her face
have more complexity
than her most volatile expression.
Thumb and index touch her ear
while the angular curve of palm flesh,
knuckle, little finger, state power in reserve.

Hands never rest the way a resting body slumps.
Only quiescent, waiting for the word to catch them up.
Hands of murderers do the dirty work.
People’s hands commit suicide.
Hands of mothers encompass or deny,
hands of lovers, unlike other body parts
can never tell a lie.

Hands in the mirror cup her face.
Hands in the mirror prop her watching head.
One hand jumps out and its bright reflection
turns the mirror aside.
Artists hesitate to paint the hands.
Not brain but hands are the body’s law;
they bide their time.
She vacillates, then her hands
take off her hands and shut them in a drawer.

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