Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

"Cack Handed"

Custom User Avatar
More by this author

“Cack-handed”
You can never skip an opportunity to call yourself that
Because you’re your ma’s son:
Didn’t get caught up in the tool shed
Got spiked through with the hooked art of repeating yourself instead

Should I feel insulted then
That these cracked, digited fringes
These rejects of your diminutive anatomy
Are how you love me?

You love me with the unvoiced, unexplained idiocy
Of fingers that make Mexican waves
To one particular song
And lure mine to come dancing too

You love me with the whorls that
Count the concaves in my skeleton,
Explore them, soothe them
Wonder if you made them

And I think you fear that
If they ceased to trace me as I grew –
A carpenter sifting through the age rings in my spine –
I’d only feel the dislocating vagueness
Of an absence too menial to be mourned.

“Cack-handed”
But I remember different:
I remember your hands like leather,
All heated and scratchy from your pockets,
Unhooking the problems from my mouth.
And how the weather had teethed on them,
Gnawed away chunks down around the cuticles
Until they were dry and scarred like February
February getting lost in its own bleak cavernousness

They stir the rag in the shoe polish,
And the burnt spoon in the bean tin.

I used to try to pinch them
But my nails were too soft
And your palms too crusted
But when they tell me “thick-skinned”
I shake my head and think
“No, beautifully cack-handed”




Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback