by Alexandra Kostoulas
The world is made of unseen hands,
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,
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
stronger and more alive.
A candle in a cold room,
a person walking in a city
Strong hands touching the infinite
holding up the sky.