where the writers are
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







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.