I have watched many hands,
measuring their temperature and temperament.
From speckled red in cold to risen veins
in heat, hands say so much
about a man. Hands that carry
items from port to port.
Hands that are busy.
Hands that don’t know what to do.
I have given myself over to many
hands; some for years, others
for just one night.
I have seen hands swiftly move
from the sacred to the profane,
from scorn to kindness and back
again. The division of hands can be
as different as left from right.
When I watched him hold
his hands to his chest
as if protecting something heavy inside,
I knew that he would handle me
with care. The care with which the bruised
consider the body of another.
As if handling a package
that has endured
many travails. As if opening
a box full of shards.