December 13, 2021

the first place i look


the first place I look is the palm of your hand
the mount under Mercury
the one that holds the healer’s mark
so far
none of the men I’ve had have carried it
then I look at your thumbs
they show your self-control
your ability to understand
and speak about your temper
sometimes they tell me to run
and I still don’t hear them
then I look at the creases and crow’s feet you carry
how deep do they go
or do you have none
it is always unnerving to see smooth hands
a calm canvas
mine look like glass right before it shatters
then I find your eyes and ask about your mother
your father
your family
does your voice change when you speak of them
do they taste bitter in your mouth
is there mercy on your breath
did you get the love you needed
so you do not take mine from me
without any intention of giving it back
tell me your greatest regret
the last person who meant something to you
the last time you cried and why
then I go back to the palm of your hand
and decide if I want to hold it

from my third poetry book, Made of Earth.