Hands

by candleships

We hold pens and pennies in our hands until our knuckles cramp

And our nails turn blue; reciting wish upon wish that the world doesn’t fail us now.

 

We plunge our palms into the powdered softness of the sands

To convince ourselves that our touch can bring change to our surroundings.

Yet our backs are always turned when the sand pits we’ve dug

Sigh into themselves with a faint gurgle,

Back into the moistened bed of the sea.

 

The same hands in the sand caress the pressure points

Of a hardened shaft;

 

The same hands anchor food into the air,

Ready to be engulfed by the blackness 

Behind our teeth.

 

These same hands find their ports

Clasped in the hands of others;

 

These same hands hold the gleaming trophy

And spell out V-I-C-T-O-R-Y to the clouds

 

These same hands mould into the same fists,

And just as in life;

Direction is everything. 

 

We clutch things in sweaty fists, palms shut up tight

Against the world — willing them not to slip from our grip.

 

But we all get slapped sometimes,

And our hands only serve to nurse the wound.

 

That’s only the universe telling us to cling harder to the things we have,

The things we care about keeping, and the things we can trick ourselves 

Into believing were worth it to have loved when we have lost.

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