The Artist’s Hand

I’ve seen your hand, the kingdom

of it digging into flesh. The old, tarlike


crevice. Like light, lifelike villages

burst from your knuckle mounds in rays,


a sea of windows on the mounts of your palm,

wrenching, thickening, wanting more of itself.


The hand has touched me briefly,

between my atoms converging into the skin


on the wiry bone. Skin which is like paint

uprooting and uncertain of its stroke.


Bone which is not wood, or even bone,

tapering off to its home, wherever,


into my own hands, tiny brittle things

that don’t speak, oppose, or curl.


I start too molecular. I’m open to start.

Shiver of art, wanting to be your hands,


which are timeless and large, the part

of the body demanding my oval eyes.


I’ve wanted you to give me eyes.

These black things will not do-


they’re not life enough for you.

When I look into myself, oval in the glass,


embodied in the glass, unkingdomed,

unclaimed, I am recorded pallid


and dusty like snow. No-faced.


Bayleigh Fraser, USA

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