Thinking About Hands

I think about hands a lot
mine are soft and have a great capacity
for delicacy I’m told
in some ways it may be true
that I see aspects of the world through touch
through fingertips with eyes closed
so much can be revealed
a tasting of textures and response to pressure
rough and smooth               hot and cold
wet and dry               soft and hard
making intimacy a living thing that is physically real
while shaping mental images and sensations
that become response triggers and pathways
to satisfaction and realisation

I think about hands a lot
with horror at the creeping disturbance of skin
by recurrence of watery pustules rising like bubbling mud
over two days to burst and form dead slough patches
painful and bleeding cracked ugliness
unfit either to touch or be touched
a kind of pre-leprosy unclean               unclean
spreading from digit to digit
causing shy unwillingness to explore or to feel
the textureless shame of a sickness of the extremities
hidden only by skillful furtiveness

I have been thinking
about the small finger of my right hand
those small watery pustules are there              rising
some skin has been shed and a painful crack
has opened up along the line of the first joint

in my kitchen I have a sharpened knife
I have been thinking about it lately
a lot

© Frank Prem,  2001


3 thoughts on “Thinking About Hands

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