your hands are graceless

Poetry / Joyce Chong

they are impatient skeleton,
cracked soap, split driftwood,
blue salted fire, advanced
decomposition. What I mean is

your hands are hurricanes, or
I mean that I am lost already & this
is rubble already. There’s no one
to shoot the starter pistol, to yell
go, to set the timers, to decide
beginnings when we are
always ending, anyway.

I mean that your hands are like mine:
they fumble calloused, grasp
too tight, too uncertain of their
own composition
                (of bone-calcium-marrow-matrix,
                or vein / vessel / blood / flesh)

but that they are a live wire
an angler fish’s bulb; that they
lure, entrap / burn fuel / ditch
breath / seize lungs. I mean that
we are destined for destruction,
clumsy & corrosive; that these hands
don’t know how to build, can’t mend
themselves the way starfish regenerate
departed limbs; what I mean is,
our hands are volatile; and they
only know deconstruction.

Joyce Chong is a poet and writer from Ontario, Canada. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in One Throne Magazine, The Mondegreen, Liminality, and Gravel Magazine, among others.