On my hands

My hands feel heavy. They’ve been driving me around for years, taking me to places they don’t want to go, but I make them. I’ve made them do so many things. Deprived them of tactile sensations they begged me for. I have been callous, tactless, inconsiderate, furtive and impetuous with them. I have hurt them deliberately and I have made them endure pain as I sat and watched needles going in and out of them at alarming speeds. 

I have seen them being tied up. I’ve entangled them in ribbons and ropes, handcuffs and chains. I have cut, bruised, banged and burned them. I have taught them how to play music; I have made them play until they couldn’t apply pressure on those metallic strings anymore. I have had them wipe tears away before they became evident. I have picked at them and torn chunks of skin off with my teeth.

I have made them write linguistic symphonies and letters to people they’ve loved and then lost. I have made them tap hard on keys of typewriters ridden with history, only to have the result wither away, folded inside an envelope. They have moved and swayed to make my words appear more worthy. 

They have followed me everywhere. They have been with me for 34 years and they refuse to leave.

My hands…

They have held on tight to objects carrying the weight of a body they belong to but cannot control. They have held the hands of relatives, friends and lovers, squeezing hard enough for it to matter. They have hung loose by my side as I showed apathy, and they have clenched into tiny, albeit powerful, little fists behind my back as my heart raced, as they felt my fury. 

We have been allies more often than we have been foes. They have held my face and hidden my eyes. They have traced lines and ridges of bodies and souls I will never forget. They have silenced screams and held back words. They have entered realms without my consent and come back changed.  

They have shown me who I am, and I have shown them what I want to be. 

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