Emily Bornstein – Just Another Hand


Just another hand perfecting her form. Keeping

her knees tucked to her chest, her arms above her

head, preparing to plunge into the earth. Ready

to dive wrist-deep into worms, to brandish grainy

chunks of manure. She’ll ignore the smell and the

perpetual line of black residue beneath her nails.

She’ll turn a blind eye to the bubbling calluses and

the crumbling arthritic joints below her fingertips.

Just another foolish hand insisting she has a green

thumb. Painting her nails baby blue so that the flower

might think her honeyed water, so that it might sway

balmily between her fingers. Bathing madly in lavender

and vanilla (so that the blossom might unfurl with her

touch) only to walk swollen and wretched through a twinkling

fog of bees. A crestfallen hand trudging eternally towards an

empty bell jar, a barren translucent womb. (She always saw,

though, the beauty in nonexistent, and therefore undying, petals).

Just another hand on her knees, asking to be sent anywhere but

the hopeless, blistering field. Pleading with the cheap, crackling

wires to send any other message to her muscles. Begging the poet

to stop sending her on endless missions to scrawl futile love songs

across the trees.


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