Intentions (1)

In the beginning was the hand, and the hand was good

Celan says there’s no difference between a handshake and a poem

The hand has a tendency to close around the palm,

flatbread and goat cheese, prayer beads extracted at the checkpoint

The mouth may say, What am 1 doing here what am I doing here

but the hand is curious, it learns with the fingertips

My hand remembers fingering the rosary, frisson of apostasy,

enchanted circuit of witless penance

At this moment, everywhere, the hand is touching the forbidden

The head shies off but five witnesses compel the hand to tell

-Lee Sharkey, The Seattle Review

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