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AR #59 Cover
number 59

P O E T R Y
by Jeanie Thompson

And After

I caught you looking at my hand,
you held it up above us, light
in your larger hand, you held it
like a specimen -
splayed the fingers -
naked, ringless, white.

What were you thinking when I
caught you looking at my hand?
I wouldn't call it beautiful, though you can.

After love, the body doesn't care -
it slackens in a drowse, goes unaware,
just naked, ringed with pleasure everywhere.
The organ of the skin has ruled the blood,
the heart, the lumpish brain -

Were you thinking
that this hand,
that'd touched you deftly
back to life, to breath,
will lie so still in death?

Where had I been
when I caught you
looking at my hand?
Far away in the skin's flush, pale now,
contracting, wondering,
where did this begin?

What were you thinking
when I caught you looking at my hand?
Were you thinking, "How small within
my larger hand, I don't know this hand at all,
or even grasp her naked pleasure, when she alone
seems ringed with light."

What were you thinking - (I didn't ask) -
when I caught you - (you didn't know) -
looking at my hand - (that afterglow,
held in morning light.)

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