[If only we could only talk with our hands—just]; [All right, I’ll say it: So the wind]

Monica Berlin

[If only we could only talk with our hands—just]

If only we could only talk with our hands—just

fingers & palms & those small bones, twenty-seven,
distinct, from tip through wrist, most firmly bound

I’d apologize less for all the wrong things I say.
The problem, I guess, is mouths. So cavernous, maybe.

So little light there. Another problem: once I walked
with another on an enclosed bridge over a six-lane

river of cars that led toward the river of rivers,
& the walls holding us were actually windows, &

we wanted more than anything to lean the other
against the glass until desire was as see-through,

as transparent, something it rarely is. & there one of us
had said, I never don’t want, not likely me, having had

to learn again pulse & how to finger against it
at the soft touch of neck. Or it was somewhere else.

Another time & somewhere else, maybe on a road
somewhere, maybe stopped at a crossing.

Before the bridge, or after, we’d shared a chair
in a dim-lit room & stared through a Pollock so

layered so thick I could only think about undressing.
In the history of my days, which will never be

recorded, I’ve never wanted more. & I’m not sorry,
even though, Christ, that painting, stretched wide,

& that river, wider. But what the day calls back
is bodies, those articulations, which bones utter

relative to each other, at the joint, where they touch.

[All right, I’ll say it: So the wind]

All right, I’ll say it: So the wind

but not the door. Say, If the wind, then
the wind, but not the one we turn

our faces into, our backs against. Never
mind what we forget: our keys in the lock

& left mid-act, their also-turning, & what-
ever practicality’s implied, or that name

we’d call that thing we’re also forgetting
forgotten. Never mind the road, all stretched

out & aching toward horizon behind us. Never
mind road, or field, or curve, or return—not

because acres aren’t or miles don’t or time
isn’t. & forget behind us. Forget put aside

or set down or handed over or given up or
carried off by. Every impossible impossible.

Not that no, but this one: another fence gone
up & some other ground turned over, & there

now what little view changed. Some thing now
shadowing what little light, what little green, little

hope, little something or other, little never
mind, little nothing. Call it now-broken

heartscape, the way that corner-made
vista turned dark, now just intersection, some

kind of course to count on also gone.
When what cordons off comes down,

& we’ll still have no reason to cut through,
no matter. When every give & take slowed

to still, or slower, never mind. Here’s what
I really mean to say: Let always return. Let

always hand & handle & come back & stay
a while here where meanwhile is the only pulse

my body recognizes. Nothing urgent there.

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