Touch

I.

Though I have not
felt his hands,
I imagine them cold,
like my grandmother’s.

Paper thin skin loose
over rounded veins,
Ice to the touch,
gentle as baby powder.

II.

My hands are always cold,
an untreatable
hereditary condition.

My grandmother shared my fate,
hands turning
from white to blue,
numb until the pain
of the blood flows again.

Always cold.

III.

Their hands are misshapen.
This grayed man
with his large paws
and patient one toothed grin.

He rubs his hands
together, stoking
a fire that has long
abandoned his veins.

Her yellowed fingernails,
a mangled band aid.
It is dirty, old,
it needs to be removed,
the cut revealed.

Expose water winkled flesh.

I imagine her hands
must be warm,
like her temper,
nails sharp as her tongue.

Two lovers mixing
to a temperate balance
lasting over 68 years.

IV.

He shares
the patience and stillness.

He touches her skin,
as her hands drop.
They are gray and they are blue.
They are cold.

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