Alteration

Sun dappling skin; parched by morning I'm watch-
ing you (tender skin on tendons) flex, flush
with crackling parchment veins marking rivers.
Sweat sheen; wet falling through capillary,
sensation manifest over backs of
palms, fingers
                      You flip insensate, switch sides
and I can read (maze, patchwork) roads crisscrossed,
meeting in Rome, centered at the base of
your thumb. How (false flipping) do such timid
brushes produce so live a map of sense?
How (tell me) can touch sketch so obscure
a guide?
               I am illiterate in you.
Led astray, this wandering bark adrift
in the intersection of palm and wrist.

[Christa Dickson]

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