Hands by Zain Alizai
Published November 29, 2020
break the hand
and the bread
it kneads break
the bars the bestiary
calls for a break
king of motion
come share this
commotion it gets
lonely there is
no brakes to the
breaking of my
own two hands
this god and all the wings spread in flight
this better not kill me
on a sidewalk. On the park bench. On the road
overlooking barren boneland.
Maybe if I was born as murmur, I wouldn’t breathe
like a mistake. This magnificent unbecoming. How a day passes
and everything looks alive all of a sudden. How I hold my beating
chest and my feet respond.
All the ways I have tried to protect my hands
have failed miserably. I pray. A fingertip growing from a knuckle
crackling the midnight. I say what shivers at the break of dawn –
a sigh ballooning into a hue, the way I remember god saying
perhaps the dandelions are overgrown. Yes, do they outgrow my
raging hands? Two hands multiplying. Three sets of hands
crackling like firewood. One wrist clogged in sawdust. Two palms
striving to hang on to something. No brittle bursting into sunlight
I cap my hands from. No surrender. No salve no salve no salve
Zain Alizai, (he/him) lives in Pakistan. His work has appeared in Feral, riggwelter, Rigorous Magazine, Counterclock Magazine, seafoam magazine along with two Indian anthologies titled Fledglings and Bhor. He was also Adroit 2020 Mentorship Alum for Poetry. His debut chapbook is forever in the process because he's a college freshman who spends all his day on Zoom.
You can find him on Twitter @zaynulalladin and on Instagram @lewaneyzai.