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“Baby we aint nothing but love, and darling you got enough for the both of us, Make love to me…when my days look low, pull me in close and don’t let me go. Make love to me…so that when the worlds at war, let our love heal us all, Help me let down my guard, make love to me…”– Beyonce  

I notice a man’s hands first. Imagine them drumming on my shoulders, the repeat sensation of thunk thunk thunk, the security of being clutched in the crook of his arm, the casual claim carved in this natural position. I fabricate the slide of his palm on my thigh, back and forth, the rhythm, the steady rub of infatuated appendages, watching t.v. my legs in his lap. Nestling. A nest built on the splinters embedded in the wings of failed relationships past, swaddled with the cloudy mucus-like hope of the moment the rib finds its way back to the cage; the sound structure completed. The melody of songbirds chirping of full circled unity, one and one, a cord braided, unbreakable.

I can feel the crinkles in the cup of his hand as he clasps tightly onto mine, intermittent thumb swipes on fragile L-shaped flesh. Unaware-awareness, the taps tingle messages of thought, of me. Clear! The wipe of his thumb jolts me back, reconnecting our lifeline from the pause where I felt his absence even as he stands near. Tactile feedback erasing the alley where my mind wandered, the dark and desolate place of female insecurity: where the women are cuter, the wine wetter from prolonged exposure to the vine.

His hands clap to clear the hollow of my doubt, reuniting the spark of two bodies in confinement. The strength of his grasp changes the question mark punctuating a suffocated breath, to the easy exhaled period of his presence before me, forcing me from the recesses of my mind, the Disney world where fantasy ignores reality.

Intimately aware am I of the calluses at the distal end of each arm, the road map of his life. How hard he works, the dedication to tomorrow’s promise, pain withstood: welcomed as it molded the appendages, formed him into the man with head held high though shoulders are weighted. Nightly, hands outstretched to relieve a small portion of his burden, body knelt in full submission, rubbing oil on the harden cracks, his helpless chuckle whispers that they will only resurface at dawn. Continuous movement a plea that maybe my ministrations will ease the tension in the crimped crease; the problems that upset, at least for a moment enjoy soft strokes of pillow-cushioned comfort, worry free smeared in the furrow, kneading the belief that everything will be alright, smoothing over the speed bumps, the obstacles of his day, pleating my trust in the capability of those hands.

What I like best about his hands is they’re not romantic. They don’t hand me wilted flowers to profess things he may not mean, or leave me Hallmark cards with words that he wouldn’t express. Yet I explicitly understand the letters his fingers sign when words escape the breach in our entangled digits. My body the sonograph translating the sounds his hands make when he holds me close, emitting blueprint sonnets, love words cast in clay, jars collected on the tracks of my veins.

Each 4 on 4 reunion replete when the thumbs intertwine and join the fold. All the books in all the world couldn’t communicate the assurance of the meeting of two hands.

Don’t pay attention if you catch me starring, I was just trying to map the moments of my life. Of you. Who I think you are. All lounging unbeknownst in your hands.

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