My Hands

my hands are old hands. the skin is weak.
my veins are web lines beneath.

my hands have held rain and dirt, mixed
it to mud. built floors and walls.
turned strings to sound.
opened many doors, and closed them.
held pictures and cameras
to take pictures.
lifted and drawn many shades.
folded together to pray.
held sacred texts.
turned pages.
lit matches.

but my hands.
they hurt now.
it pains me to hold too tightly.
so i sometimes have to let things go.

many years. many years.
cracks and bruises. scars.
these hands have touched many things.
but these hands have never felt
too closely. too much.
never in half lit midnight
have they traced
the soft skin of another.
one like you.

many years. many years.
many years to never touch.

they’ve wanted to.
they’ve wanted you.
they’ve reached.
it hurt too much.

they had to let go. they can’t hold on
to something so heavy as love.
it pains them. it cracks them.
my hands.