Oct/Nov 2018 Poetry Special Feature

Trust Me, I Heard You When You Told Me I'm Only What I Hold

by Hannah Radeke

Public domain image adapted by Tom Dooley

Trust Me, I Heard You When You Told Me I'm Only What I Hold

I've started sidestepping
mirrors trying to quit dragging
them around

but, listen, I've been trying a new trick
lately of making my hands into rain:

watch how they disappear behind glass,
how fast I can't be held,
how I wear myself like a mask.

Rain never settles the right way/it
always falls awkward & tense against
the drum of earth when the night has
been pulled too tight around its stomach
& all the drops roll off like a tin symphony.

All I want is to hear you say you're listening.

Here is what I mean:
the night as easily cracked, as flooded/as if
the sky were mesh/as if it were something we could
press our lips against/as if
the stars stuck in our throats/as if
we got caught in the holes/
the past reaching through/
a dark glove/a mouth like an open wound

& you're standing there, demanding to see my hands/as if
I could hold anything besides the reverse image of my own head/as if
my palms weren't already clouds.

What when all that's left of me is teeth?
What when the dirt howls darkness into the streets?

What when all you can get out is
"yes, it looks like confetti,
but all I hear is a hollow mouth"

& all I can say is what else
must heaven be
other than being fed back to earth,
its pressure shattering teeth.



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