i used to think i could will myself
to recreate knuckle & thumb. stare
long enough at my palms & my fingers
so that when i took pen to paper
i could replica with no hesitation.
my father bought me a sketch book
& i tried over & over. an orphanage
of hands sequestered in turning
spacious white rooms. float wrists.
sink arms. my fingers reaching & coiling.
then loose. clasping. in frustration,
i would often tear a page out
& then stop before crumpling my lop-sided hands.
then, simply fold & deliver them
to trash can burials.
later, apart from pencil & pad,
my hands punished me. i folded them
on my chest. watched rise & fall
with each breath.
from learning to be an altar boy,
the only rule i remember
is to always have your hand around
a holy plate or a candle and, if not,
then it should be holding the other.
without me, sometimes, my hands would
knot themselves trying to transform
into birds or beings.
in a mirror, i let them
touch my face with curiosity.
strange how i once thought my body whole
& then, upon inspection, can denote
so many parts. my skull that asks
to please recreate my hands
& my hands, who, being the body's
mischeif conduits, refuse.