Ghazal: Hands


Do you pine for photograph-worthy limbs, slender hands?
I asked about the soul & mom said God has tender hands.

I worried I’d need a ladder to climb up to heaven.
Or a strong grip. Or an ancestor to send her hands.

I’ve watched them shatter window glass. I’ve watched
them knead flour, water, grief. Render, hands.

Their earthly veneer tells time & the weather. Show us
how love. How green. How remorse. O calendar hands.

What medicine for longing? Salt water lifting
the breathing body. Sun, skin. Scent of lavender. Hands.

The child lets go, charges toward the sea alone. Come
dark, she drifts to her mother’s touch, bends her hands.

The mother recites into the child’s palm: O bird how
to eat you? Tickle. O apple tree leaves. Remember hands.

If you wave goodbye. If you wave come back. If you twirl
enough, will you learn to welcome surrender, hands?

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