Your hands


Artwork: Bruce Nauman, All Thumbs Holding Hands, 1998

The second in a set of poems entitled Lovers’ Quarantine

‘Your hands’ plays with structure by presenting two different perspectives of a music recital to understand the aesthetic relationship between performer and viewer as a metaphor for quarantined lovers.

by Fred Baxter


Your hands, (your hands,)

Marble white, (like mine,)

Shining listlessly (deft, crosswise,)

Under candelight, (under candlelight)

Gleam their longing (stirrup their counterpoint)

From sequestered pockets, (from ancient keys)

Reddening in closeness; (and hollowed ivory,)

We own a half-second, (half-remembered lines)

But it is enough (of lives beginning;)

For your hands (they meet mine, nervously,)

To reach out (seeping their warmth)

And touch mine. (through my blood.)

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