© 2006 Katherine Williams
"Hand" appears in
Southern Poetry Anthology:
South Carolina

Houston:  Texas Review Press (2007)

After Wallace Stevens
My body and your body and our body.
The two-fingered hand.

She never follows the four winds,
only the fifth—the cyclone—
wind of the fist.

Tracer of love in the dust.
Spike in the tree.
Bringer of madness.

Two hands interlace, not ours.
It is a charcoal of my other hands.

The hand fumbles at cats cradle in sunlight:
it takes far longer
when there are eyes involved.

Key to the dialect of midnight:
the vowels are always shaped
like fingers.

Even borderlines hold their breath
at the sound of those hand-shadows
parting the air.

Morning seeped in under the door
as blue fog. Four hands
cradled the steam above one clay mug.

Marionettes danced
The Firebird across the stage
as though their souls had fingers.

Not painting, but the act of painting:
the presence of the absent hand.

How is the piano without hands
unlike a painting without speech?

With a wave of the leader’s hand,
hundreds were lost.

One glimpse of the cosmos is forever.
When read like braille,
the stars sizzle in the hand.