“Hand Study” by Jerica Taylor

You send me photos of your hands, splayed
around a soup bowl. Lax grip around morning
coffee. Palm steadying a loaf of bread, the other
holding the knife. Tying a length of rope over a bale
of hay in the bed of your truck. A thumb hook, stringing
me along. Shaky video, a stroke of the keys softer
than it needs to be. I put it on a loop as though I could
hear the whole song. I bite my own knuckles, the soft
pad of my fingertip, the catch of a nail. In the absence
of the whole, I would swallow what you give me, shove
it into my mouth. Another video, just three breaths
long, a yawn and the loose rub of sleep from your eyes.
My hands clench and ache to be there, to meet yours,
couple and entwine. Someone else presses the shutter,
hits record. A proxy, witness to these moments
that are mine. What do you tell them? Or are they held
fast by a distant caress that refuses to satisfy?

Jerica Taylor (She/they)
Jerica Taylor is a non-binary neurodivergent queer cook, birder, and chicken herder. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Their work has appeared in Postscript, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and FERAL Poetry, and they have a prose chapbook forthcoming from GASHER Press. She lives with her wife and young daughter in Western Massachusetts. Follow Jerica on Twitter @jericatruly