The Seven Components of Hand Holding — Nora Smith


the seven components of hand-holding.



two hands will always feel like apples,

and oranges



hands are feet.

being held is walking.



hands are not as easily held as other things:

            a steering wheel.          a bottle of vodka.

an almost forgotten memory

            thought of just in the nick of time.



i truly thought there was a pulse in the hand

before he corrected me.



the first time i held the hand of another

was at a funeral.           now i hold the

smell of death, velvet-cushion-church-pews

at arms length.



haven’t you ever climbed a tree?

            haven’t you ever torn open a dead one?

looked out over the horizon and felt splinters,

            looked at it and thought…termites, probably.



there is no machine for this.

there is no replacement.

when you are alone                  you know it.