On particular days, I hold my hands before me
and silently exalt their singular growth
like they are the rigid-nylon of a yew’s bark,
a thousand-years-old, here to witness my grandmother
and her grandmother and her grandmother.
I love the mini tree-rings of my fingertips,
how I leave stump-marks everywhere I go
like the imprints of galaxies, skimmings
of the universe’s flesh and blood.
There are forbidden
and unreachable places, invisible hems
between our separate worlds; child-hands
can dive into mouseholes and the unlit
backs of things,
while adult-hands stir dazzling fluids,
as if the body’s saps contain the colours
of nebulae, perhaps the vermilion, haemal gore
of an exploded star, or the pale rheuminess
of deep-space gases, sprays that flower slowly
on dark sheets, bud-stains of the nearly created.
There are little canyons that collect the alluvium
of our hours, flesh-coloured beaks
that build nests of scalp-grease, stucco-flake,
worm-tar. I love to inhale
my hands at the end of this exaltation,
draw inside me the amalgam of garlic
and cut-grass and dough. Or my lover’s
residue, the bitter scent
of his cock or the unguent of his cum.
I feel it as something furtive,
yet gleefully innocent, like a Chinese whisper,
the transferring of these mattery scents
from hand to hand throughout the day,
unspoken pact: here, carry the cells
from my inner thigh in your pocket,
tiny, glass marbles of new planets, or the grit
from my lover’s cock like the unglowing
coals of shooting stars.