The Book Life

4.24 | April 30, 2010

Hand over fist I’ve held onto you
as you ran out your line to the sea.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to follow you,
but I wish I could watch you
swim away from me. I hate that I find
you beautiful. You hate
that the line even exists,
but are not bold enough to break it.

I cannot use my hands for this,
this kind of holding, and cannot break the line myself;
it will tear the skin,
leave great circles of bright red,
unprepared for even air.
I do not need to live for weeks
with bandaged hands; I do not need
those scars. So I let go.

I’ll try to use my hands
for another kind of holding.
One hand just holding the other.

[PROMPT: Use The Phrase Finder to find a phrase, then write a poem. I didn’t go much beyond the phrase itself, ’cause I just ran with “hand over fist.”]


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