Mated for Life

for Amy & Kim

Hands are queer things.
They can read your fortune in soft loaves
fresh from the oven
they can trace the invisible lines on a back
color in maps of passion
they can fly through oceans of skin
all the way to the baroque heart of an artichoke
they can lock fingers.
They wrinkle up after long immersion
in the depths of an afternoon
& follow each other endlessly
until like circling ravens they merge
with the mind’s very own blue.

When obscene labels & hateful looks
start swirling like a mob of crows
let your hands & mine remember
the secret names they speak
together in the shadows.