Category Archives: Unseen Hands by Alexandra Kostoulas

Unseen Hands

by Alexandra Kostoulas


The world is made of unseen hands,

dainty, epicurean,

preparing your home before you,

tiny, fast, frenetic –

small enough to place the computer chips

into the motherboard,


tying circuitry together,

picking the rice

and kneading the bread,


fast, frenetic

working hands,


flying up to your throat like birds.



hearty and strong, full of sinews, these hands

that clutch or make the bed,

hands that smell like rosemary and tomatoes and dirt,


hands that made your pen

and packaged your book.


Unseen hands that wring themselves at night,

worrying. Hands that cook, and stir the sauce,

looking for practical victories,


a child learning to stand,

an old woman closing her eyes and reentering the infinite,


the part of you that blooms under the starlight,

stretching up like a skinny flame,

flinging itself upright,

demanding you notice its existence,


flickering in possibilities.


These hands, clutching onto the railing,

headwind in the face, leaning over the starboard bow

making indentations in the white-water sea.


The shutting out of the part that’s eternal,

most of all afraid of your inner self


and how fast the boat is moving,


no way to jump off,


afraid of that essential vibration of violet

the part who could be great,

these hands that could dig you out,

these hands that could raise you up.


Then comes the terror at being known,

the proximity to the center of the brilliant zenith within

lures you closer to the clutter, the chaos,

the lazy eye of inner mind— that doesn’t

want to feel the pain

that has been tuned out

to the frequency of board meetings

or jail or the internet,

not being able to breathe.


Let them all laugh at you

before they know your language,


close your cocoon of a heart

and let the sinews fuse into a newness

more beautiful and strange

than before,

stronger and more alive.


A candle in a cold room,

a person walking in a city

anonymous, blinking.


Strong hands touching the infinite

holding up the sky.



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