Five long, sticky and clinging
thin, thinner, thinnest: numbering.
One small and short, a stubble
amongst the firs on her palm,
the rest four ticking like ugly babies
shoved in a cradle in a casket.
The lines bleed out a night’s hard work
we cry crimson and one sticks out
longer than the rest. The phalanx,
its heart, knobby and raging
flailing and falling, trickling down her body.
Blood in a pewter pot,
phalanges more omniscient than
any irrevocable eye,
together they rake her body.
The tips, calloused and crowded,
rings – choking and bolstering
no two bruises alike.
Prodding, resting on her chin
on her thigh, skimpy, not there
twinging like morsels
stuck beneath crooked fingernails.
Five iridescent, sprouting from the
knuckles of shoveled, shriveled howls.
Curved into crescent shapes
unnecessary, veiling what carves her mind.
Depth-in, hands deep, shaking
beneath scraped carpels –
a new face found under old fingers.
A new page used to turn
the same bloodied story now written from
a different hand.