And weary of the long day at work,
he takes off his hands and lays them
like a belt of tools at his bedside.
Naturally the first one proves
easier to remove than the second,
but the mouth serves as a third hand
as it often does in times like this.
And as he lies with nothing to do
but think about the things he is
not doing, his hands crawl away
out the pet door into a yard
dark with stars and the howling moon.
Such, of course is the nature
of hands, to point at this star
and that, and in their pointing stitch
the stars together, piece the bodies
of gods who, like hands, would make
the world into a world they love.
Truth is, there would be no gods
if these lights had not been torn
from one another. Mother from child,
child from the child he was.
Always a body back there,
somewhere, a ghost that slipped its coat
from the armature of bone.
Sirens slit the chest of silence,
and dogs pour through with mating calls
or calls of warning. Hard to tell.
Say they are one call, that they turn
to the mirrors of each other,
like palms, and touch, shade to shade.
When a man wakes, disheveled at dawn,
he understands: sleep is work
that never quite begins or ends,
but calls the sirens of the dogs
together: the world is too damn far
from the world; words far from words
and the animals that made them.
Still there is a tenderness
to the questions answers long for,
a one-eyed star of joy that fades
so we who wake might dream of it.
It’s up there. In there. I see it. These hands
like doves on the arms of day.