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People Are Not There

People Are Not There

 

For us to learn lessons by

 

My doctor has incomplete fingers

 

Three of them, they stop at the knuckle

 

Or maybe it’s two and a third just wishes it would

 

When I look at them, and believe me

 

I am subtle about it, I hear a machine

 

Sharpness on blue sawdust in some farm

 

And a little girl looking for hens-teeth

 

Somewhere

 

 

Overnight

 

Someone smashed all the windshields of cars

 

On the east side of our street with a bat and left

 

Beautiful webbing to catch the morning light

 

Which made us think in the kind

 

Of collective thinking that seizes us sometimes

 

Unaware as virgins, as initiates to the faith:

 

Is Providence right-handed after all?

 

 

 

My doctor conceals her stunted fingers

 

By curling them all into the bedding of her palm,

 

Even the ones with fingernails and whorls and worry

 

Notched into the cuticles with bird-delicacy

 

And I believe it, this new truth, this sleight of hand

 

In the hush of the examination room

 

Her other hand against my heart.

 

 

 

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