Aracelis Girmay is the author of Kingdom Animalia (BOA Editions Ltd., 2011).
Consider the Hands that Write This Letter
after Marina Wilson Consider the hands that write this letter. The left palm pressed flat against the paper, as it has done before, over my heart, in peace or reverence to the sea or some beautiful thing I saw once, felt once: snow falling like rice flung from the giants' wedding, or the strangest birds. & consider, then, the right hand, & how it is a fist, within which a sharpened utensil, similar to the way I've held a spade, match to the wick, the horse's reins, loping, the very fists I've seen from the roads to Limay & Estelí. For years, I have come to sit this way: one hand open, one hand closed, like a farmer who puts down seeds & gathers up the food that comes from that farming. Or, yes, it is like the way I've danced with my left hand opened around a shoulder & my right hand closed inside of another hand. & how I pray, I pray for this to be my way: sweet work alluded to in the body's position to its paper: left hand, right hand like an open eye, an eye closed: one hand flat against the trapdoor, the other hand knocking, knocking.
From Teeth by Aracelis Girmay. Copyright © 2007 by Aracelis Girmay. Used by permission of Curbstone Press.