I'm not sure if this poem is finished, but it's what came to me after dinner tonight.

 

Human Hands

You return to the old poems

and they are as you feared:

Fixed, budged not a jot

since you pressed them into shape,

worked their whirling figures on your wheel.

Glazed, fired, brilliant

on the day of conception, but now

they sit, still and silent, on the shelf

as you whirl through the ages,

dazed, wild, resilient,

and pliable as the day of your making.

You return to your old face,

and it is as you feared:

A mask

brittled by time and horror-filled

by dread of becoming

a shell that becomes,

a formable face cupped in human hands,

searched, seen, smoothed, kissed

by lips not of cold, kilned glass,

but warm skin rushing

with nascent cells.

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