Poetry Daily home page

The Hands’ Testament

The face veils and gates
and the glance will enharbor,

but the thumb and forefinger
could give it away entire

but will never

but remain, calmly clasped
and “therein lies.” It’s light out. And I, nearer

No, you knew what inner

We have many versions

that require silence

differs less than one percent
                                       (I rest my case)
                                       (as I was blessed)
                                       it is
the shimmer in the hybrid; the hand is an island
oddly endless; we are it.

Cole Swensen
The Book of a Hundred Hands
University of Iowa Press

Copyright © 2005 by Cole Swensen.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry Daily with permission.

Sponsor PD!
Winter Poetry & Prose Getaway, Sponsor University of Florida MFA Program, Sponsor Wake Forest University Press, Sponsor Queens University Low-Residency MFA, Sponsor Vanderbilt University MFA, Sponsor