Your face is an empty house
behind these narrow fence posts
but you want to trace the hand,
its earnest knuckles, tender junction
of fingers. You were sure
you would recognize the shape
of need, but remember, the hand
gives mixed messages:
Halt. All gone. Pick me.
There was a time you couldn’t
spot yourself by shape alone.
On the floor of your classroom,
the rigid contours of the fallen.
Were you not the tall one,
you might have been any of them,
hands flayed and helpless,
legs a little open.
Photo by Ben Smith