Hands Peripheral by Grant Tarbard

My hands have been gutted from the inside out, like a watermelon,
into a corpse flesh of trick questions, grotesque of colour;
veins of agate, spinel arteries, stretched skin of alabaster.

My hands are beautiful with daggers held behind my back
gently scraping at flesh in a scream of silences held in a box
beneath my tongue, salivating discreet sentences, hush-hush.

My hands holler loudly, drunken protests in darkened rooms,
jump off rooftops and shout in all my aching bones declaring;
“the sky is built with one nail a day delivered by coquettish boys!”

My hands are made of oak, or at least oak’s reserved echo,
I rub them and I get a splinter. I’ve put them in the barbecue
as an offering for good weather. I hope my echo of hands will burn.

My hands are mannequin hands, fingerless, useless in embroidered
theatre gloves, pictorial carved aerophones that produce notes when blown.
Find me in the stalls swallowing jewels for the coming lean times.

My hands were hissing kettles, now they boil down to a slow sigh
into the soothing wrath of this nullity, a bagatelle of void. My fingers
are vicars that’ll tow the golden chariot when Death comes to town.

Grant Tarbard

Grant Tarbard is internationally published. His collection As I Was Pulled Under the Earth, published by Lapwing Publications, is available now.

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