Autumn 2020 Poetry

A Handful of Your Hair

by Isabelle Edgar

Mamma told me the maps in the creases of my palms have lots of rivers because my hands are always clammy

I am having a hard time talking to you

Every time I see your freckles
I want to play connect the dots

Geometry bites the iris of my eye
I see in forms instead of figures

Painting in pebbles 
instead of sand

a graffitied brain

Have you ever dropped a clay potted plant? 

You know
the earthy orange brown ones
maybe it’s ceramic not clay

You can’t pick it up in one handful
in one fell swoop of five fingers and one palm

          You must begin by eliminating your palm

          Switch to just five fingers

          Then a thumb and a forefinger

          And last the stickiness of your palm
Mamma’s rivers

And still there will be pieces left on the floor
A human body cannot be a vacuum

My eyes cannot be a hand
a palmless hand
two fingers
and sticky skin all at once

A moving mosaic
your mouth is filled with pebbles
the way a child counts the number of grapes that fit inside theirs

Or maybe marshmallows

I’m combing just the bottom half of a handful of your hair
and following a roadmap with my fingertip
topography too

and its terracotta 

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