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Two Hands

Right hand, cut from rough sandstone, enfolding line within line.

Bright of the dark blood sings in the palm

sculpts rock to alabaster.

But not a hand the sun shines through.

It harbours light.

The maker’s palms are cut by waves,

his fingers blocked in black granite.

Fierce hands, his hands are steel.

Both right and left.

An instant they rest on the frame’s edge.

The circle is done.

Dry blood can’t hold bright.

Tippling from outstretched palms into the mothering open.

Time’s dark block wont tarnish coarsen or flake: frail hands hard with light.

Two diamonds.

Meena Alexander
November 1974

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