hands

look at these hands
young hands
small hands
(or are they?
everything is relative)
small-ish, then
but enough to stretch an octave
bar a chord
(on a ukulele, anyway)

scratched hands
scarred and ripped
by spirals of plastic
and papery edges
nail polish, chipped
no matter how expensive
nor how many layers applied
turquoise with little white crescents
and indentations
marks of manual labour past

wretched cuticles
broken and cursed
no amount of care
will prevent their destruction
i am one with the band-aid box
and cartoon characters
dance about my finger tips

at the end of the day
writing on the back
of the left hand only
ambidextrousness only a dream
faded blue letters
over spider-webbing lines
paler still
beneath
a day’s memos

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