Kristin Emanuel

Ode to Your Hands

how they would flee
like frightened rabbits
into the cleft of your chest—or else
seek shelter beneath your chin,
crouched just above the neck:
quintapedal critters
endemic to your body’s landscape,
instinctive & primal,
always knowing
where best to hide.

how they panned
across the sightless glow
of your cellphone screen—
lepidopterous—a moth’s
self-immolating tendency.

how angry they seemed,
punching songs
into the pupils of piano keys.

how they would triple-frown
at each joint.
your skin’s disappointment.

how rarely
they reached for me,
instead preferring
the company of pockets.

how they worried
the paperclip into a makeshift key.

how they tried
to unfasten the lock.

how once inside—
without electricity—
all I could see
was the flashlight
fisted within them,
bruising even darkness.

Kristin grew up in the mountains of Colorado, but has also lived in Texas and Minnesota. She currently resides in Arkansas, where she is pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and minoring in French at the University of Arkansas. When she is not writing poetry, she is likely photographing clouds.