it begins with a beat
of wings, a creature who does not have hands
the flutter coughed across oceans
punched and caught into countries
until the whole world is gasping for air

so then they skewer words into the skin i wear
passed down from my ancestors
i have never been more aware
of the way my hands reflect the colour of the sun
& how much better they would look covered in white gloves
because even in broad daylight the pedestrian mall walks
like a backend alley
all clenched fists and middle fingers

instead of letting you squeeze my hands
i stay home & run them under hot water for 20 seconds
i have never been more afraid
of letting my fingers reach for things
of touching, & being touched
how we try so hard to find hands that won’t hurt each other
your alcoholed palms against my cheeks all ragged
like his last breaths in the ICU, but

somewhere in the future it is 2019 again
i laugh because your voice is too soft
to hear in the crowd
you grab my hand to lead me through
& i have never breathed so easy

57 thoughts on “hands

  1. David Mei says:

    Beautifully written.
    I’m sorry that people attack you with their eyes and gestures if not worse because of your ethnic origins.
    I’m sorry that people can’t realize that you May have no ties back to China other than heritage.
    I wish people would recognize that this is not of Chinese origin but animal origin. The DNA shows if I remember the reporting correctly the point source is the bat.
    I wish people would
    Remember that this is an us problem not a decisive them issue. We are all in this together because we are citizens of Earth. This is not country specific but global.
    We are all in this together.
    Thanks for posting your poem. Beautiful on an isolating day.
    Socially active but physically distancing.

    Liked by 1 person

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