I run my petal soft fingertips
along the contours of your hands;
counting each line, stroking each knuckle,
tracing the inside of your palm
and the indents around your nails.
This is the first time I’ve held hands
like yours – gentle like a stream,
hands which wash over my feet,
my hips, chest and face.
They do not threaten or intimidate.
They are not calloused with brick wall,
or the space behind my head.
They are not blistered by your use
of her flesh for pity, stripped
of her humility.
They are not clammy
with ‘love me or feel sorry’.
They are hands which call me
a queen and I feel it.
They are hands which refuse
to knock the wind from my chest.
They are hands which tend to
the soil below my waist,
allow my stem to flourish
instead of squeeze.
They are hands which pull
back the curtains to bathe me
in sunlight, and in my naked fragility
I find sunflower strength,
not the love you saw
in my weakness.
They are hands which do not question
their purpose to hold.
They are hands;
not fists, not weapons,
nor beestings, nor paws.
And when they open up to me,
I’m happy to be yours.
Kristiana Reed day dreams, people watches in coffee shops, teaches English and writes. She is a curator on Blood into Ink, a collective member of The Whisper and the Roar & Sudden Denouement, and blogs at My Screaming Twenties. She is 24 and is enjoying the journey which is finding her voice.