Hands – Kristiana Reed

Blood Into Ink


I run my petal soft fingertips

along the contours of your hands;

counting each line, stroking each knuckle,

tracing the inside of your palm

and the indents around your nails.

This is the first time I’ve held hands

like yours – gentle like a stream,

hands which wash over my feet,

my hips, chest and face.

They do not threaten or intimidate.

They are not calloused with brick wall,

or the space behind my head.

They are not blistered by your use

of her flesh for pity, stripped

of her humility.

They are not clammy

with ‘love me or feel sorry’.

They are hands which call me

a queen and I feel it.

They are hands which refuse

to knock the wind from my chest.

They are hands which tend to

the soil below my waist,

allow my stem to flourish

instead of squeeze.

They are hands which pull


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