Gripped

Hey folks. I was flipping through my journal and re-reading some things from a few months ago, and I found a poem titled “Gripped.” I wrote this poem about Indonesia while traveling in Flores with some friends in December. I wanted to share it with y’all.

Gripped

One ridge in her palm

crawls outside-out,

blackened by grimy

nails, unpainted, left long.

A stray flick

falls millimeters and miles.

The muscle–her thumb–

throbs noisily.

A residually swollen fist,

clenched and clamped,

clapped over my skull–

hut, one two, hut!

Frayed webbing tethers

the fore and middle fingers,

drifting. Watch pinky and ring,

perpetually tandemed,

a swift game of shadow:

now I’m it, now she.

Her flat crackles

over knuckled embers,

oblong, though agile,

no longer hued white.

Scar of a bucked-tooth

sleeps just left of center.

Her grip holds firm–

sanded, well-worn.

A glove in a glove.

It crushes me twice,

or I think that it does.

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