Hands – In Four

1. Thaumaturgy

Gods of old extend their hands but so many are ill, and no one cares for those behind the wall. Dead souls circle overhead, in clouds, a dense cloud above the prison burying ground, ground divided at the start, Christian, Jew, other or unknown. Through the clouds, a glimpse of moon and stars. Just a glimpse of places far faraway.

2. Over the fence

Cannot find it, the letter he sent. Looking at a vague self in the fogged mirror, I remember they frolic outside, each holding in cupped hands their single, floating gossamer soul. And they float too. I too finally learn that I can float, then glide effortlessly, face up and smiling, over the fence.

3. Mesopotamia

The war passes, what remains? Wells for miles are ruined, brim over with death. He alone has living water, though nothing else anymore. “Sell it,” they say. “If I sell the water, no flowers will grow, no figs, no dates,” he replies, and lies there, in his sleep, leaning over clear water, cupping his last hand.

4. They flutter

Lines, striations in a black dust, cover the wall, many fine lines like an etching. Giant wings must spread and flutter here, against the wall. In the hands of children they flutter and are gone.


Published in BANG! The New Guard

May 3, 2019 issue

The New Guard - Bang! - publisher of Dan Reilly poems