I’m pleased that Jeanie Thompson is coming to read from her new book The Seasons Bear Us. I had the opportunity to read this manuscript on its way to publication and found it moving, smart, and beautiful all at once. The manuscript became a beautiful and moving book. Jeanie is a poet of national importance, and one of the pleasures of having her here is to introduce her to our formidable community of writers. What better place than the fine literary scene at Urban Think! I hope you get a chance to join us at 7 PM this Friday. Bring friends.
I caught you looking at my hand,
you held it up above us, light
in your larger hand, you held it
like a specimen –
splayed the fingers –
naked, ringless, white.
What were you thinking when I
caught you looking at my hand?
I wouldn’t call it beautiful, though you can.
After love, the body doesn’t care –
it slackens in a drowse, goes unaware,
just naked, ringed with pleasure everywhere.
The organ of the skin has ruled the blood,
the heart, the lumpish brain –
Were you thinking
that this hand,
that’d touched you deftly
back to life, to breath,
will lie so still in death?
Where had I been
when I caught you
looking at my hand?
Far away in the skin’s flush, pale now,
where did this begin?
What were you thinking
when I caught you looking at my hand?
Were you thinking, “How small within
my larger hand, I don’t know this hand at all,
or even grasp her naked pleasure, when she alone
seems ringed with light.”
What were you thinking – (I didn’t ask) –
when I caught you – (you didn’t know) –
looking at my hand – (that afterglow,
held in morning light.)
by Jeanie Thompson
from The Seasons Bear Us