Unspoken

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My sister's hands
Tell stories
As I swallow them
With my own.
Warm and fragile,
Air circulates through.
They tell me
They need me.
My knuckles cradle them
So they won't collapse.

My brother's hands
Tell stories
The same size as my own.
Firm and smooth,
They fit into place,
Dissolve into nothing.
They tell me
What I already know
About growing up.
There are no empty spaces,
No fingers to tuck in.
My hands know
His stories too well.

My Papaw's hands
Tell stories
Of what I have yet to learn--
Love and loss and basketball.
Rough and wise,
They squeeze me
In intervals
Like they're giving blood.
They tell me
He's afraid of letting go.

My cousin's hands
Tell stories
Because he can't.





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