Is one of me too many for the earth?
The way that one of you’s not near-enough?
The way the fenceposts are positioned just
so far apart my hands can never touch
your hands? The way a hand can break a hand?
The way my hands are less like mine the more
I look at them? (The palms are pink and square
like chicken breasts, lined with blue nostalgias,
and in dreams the fingers shrinking, slowly.)
The way your hands retain significance:
your gestures, your short ironic dances?
How your hands behave in mourning? The way
I—still having much to accomplish—was,
nonetheless, unable to accomplish?
Michael Marberry‘s poetry has appeared in The New Republic, West Branch, and Waxwing and has been anthologized in The Pushcart Prize Anthology, Best of the Net, The Southern Poetry Anthology, and New Poetry from the Midwest. Currently, he’s the Creative Writing Fellow in Poetry at Emory University. More of his work can be found at www.michaelmarberry.com.