Palinode (Hands, Hours, Light)

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P A L I N O D E ( H A N D S , H O U R S , L I G H T)

Consider the hand, its breadth, its history in mathematics and limitation. 27 bones, two strokes. Distal phalanges spanning gaps.  You turn and wave at the winnowed tunnel and the drops feathering the glass. The sinister endures tasks of life; right blesses power and assuages guilt. Presuming inflection, I use both hands to tally the absent. Later as we drive through the checkpoint, our way greased by fluency in the language of coin, heaven’s oblique arch recedes and I praise the passage of hours.

I praise the passage of hours measured in terms unknown to some: beyond two, many. Returning, we see streets guided by lampposts, bent trees and the uneven drizzle of sidewalk mendicants blurring through their days. A hanged man’s dessicated hand (pickled in salt and the urine of man, woman, dog and mare) forms the Hand of Glory, unlocking any portal the bearer desires opened: a direct tool of consciousness. Lacking the fat of a gibbeted felon, I cannot properly light the way.

I cannot properly light the way, but we  observe facets in differing terms: the hand, lips, and mouth claim more neural innervation than the rest of the body combined, perhaps a consequence of the primacy of making and sounding. Candles smolder and yield to shadow through dancing hand stories. The wave of acknowledgment, a finger across the lips, the open hand proclaiming innocence, expressing, grasping, creating, constraining, releasing. Extinguishing.

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This first appeared in Hermeneutic Chaos, Issue 11.

 

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8 thoughts on “Palinode (Hands, Hours, Light)

  1. A somewhat spooky intrigue. Conjures questions! What droplets? Where is this pickled hand? Why is another’s hand hushingly covering lips? I get a sense of being in a museum, young, asking my companion (maybe my mother?) to explain and having her shush me … Or am I shushing her ongoing discourse on what I should be noticing, hoping she’ll let me simply absorb imagery?
    Fascinating specifics, especially: ” the hand, lips, and mouth claim more neural innervation than the rest of the body combined” – will be pondering that as I move through the day!

    Liked by 1 person

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