fragments of a poet’s mind (they might be poems)

When Aunt is dead, her terrified hands will lie
Still ringed with ordeals she was mastered by.
Adrienne Rich, “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”

But I’ll never be
Anything you ever want me to be
“Slipped,” The National

the world is made of glass
our hands of stone

despite the sign (HANDLE WITH CARE)
we hold shards in our palms

i have come here
to kiss the arch of your foot

the left foot if i may
this is the only way
that i can pray
tell you what i want to say

this kiss your foot the arch

the first time he saw her
after the first time he kissed her
not on her lips or facing her
but on her left shoulder just at the curve of her neck

she showed him there on that spot a tattoo
a line from a poem she loves
and looked him in the eyes
saying in case you didn’t know

tears wet his face
he held her in his arms
pressing his lips there again
because because because

i have been looking for you
although i didn’t know it was you
until i realized that it was you i was looking for

her hands were hers to offer
not things to be taken
especially in marriage

this her holding hands etiquette
this her rules of engagement
fingers laced with palms pressed together

i mark my life with blood

not the way women live
the biology of recycling themselves
theirs a possibility of motherhood

i mark my life with blood

these rituals of shaving as seeking
another beneath relentless hair
someone I can never be

as we build the world
we tear it down
because we don’t want to be humans
we want to be gods

—P.L. Thomas