The Hand

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Every cut is a bleeding thorn,

every breath is a spread of fingers.

The ear records all its silences.

Lose a hand and it goes to the trash heap,

lose an ear and everyone will think of Van Gogh.

In the landfill

the hand discovers fire,

it discovers how to conquer the rats,

how to drive,

how to see the light,

how to play

as a child in the soft sand,

how to think to its advantage,

how to grow beyond

touch and feel,

how to taste the apple,

how to hear

the silence of the din,

how to love,

love itself,

the world,

the universe-

to think of itself

as something other

than a horror concept,

to think of itself

as a piano virtuoso,

to think it’s worth a body,

(not worth the bother of a body),

worth a companion five fingers,

(unworthy of mating with other digits)

all while fingering a doll’s head.

Thinking it’s worth a penis,

its palm forming a vagina

but ultimately deciding

it’s not worth

the extra useless appendage

and the lifelines-

tasting the rain and discovering

it’s not an umbrella

just a receptacle to hold one.

It gets soggy, wrinkled.

It gets sick.

It gets cancer.

It loses its fingers

one by one.

Its creases wither.

It dies

and blows away

in the wind.

Its body mourns

its phantom limb,

stretches it new

mechanical appendages

and moves on.