after Lorna Crozier
The science of hands is simple: for the right one, and the left one,
four fingers and a thumb. Hands are the lambs of the body:
vulnerable to slaughter.
There is a story about a woman who lost her hands to a man—
he touched them and made them less than flesh, only to find them again
when another man touched the space where her hands once were;
he brought them back, made them flesh again.
If a lover’s hands are shaped like fish, on the one hand,
it could mean something; on the other, it could mean nothing.
Eating with one’s hands is better than prayer, though even there,
Christ brought the two together: before it was his body, it was just a
piece of bread in his hand.
When two languages collide and there is no way of knowing
what is said or understood, it is the hands that speak. Hands speak love
and there is nothing between the legs or on the tip of the tongue that knows
the intimacy of words like the hand-written syllables of a love letter.
Most of all, they know when the end is coming:
think of all the hands that waved goodbye on the Titanic.