Archive for January 8th, 2016

Friday, 8 January 2016

Hands by Melanie Challenger

On particular days, I hold my hands before me
and silently exalt their singular growth
like they are the rigid-nylon of a yew’s bark,
a thousand-years-old, here to witness my grandmother
and her grandmother and her grandmother.
I love the mini tree-rings of my fingertips,
how I leave stump-marks everywhere I go
like the imprints of galaxies, skimmings
of the universe’s flesh and blood.

There are forbidden
and unreachable places, invisible hems
between our separate worlds; child-hands
can dive into mouseholes and the unlit
backs of things,
while adult-hands stir dazzling fluids,
as if the body’s saps contain the colours
of nebulae, perhaps the vermilion, haemal gore
of an exploded star, or the pale rheuminess
of deep-space gases, sprays that flower slowly
on dark sheets, bud-stains of the nearly created.

There are little canyons that collect the alluvium
of our hours, flesh-coloured beaks
that build nests of scalp-grease, stucco-flake,
worm-tar. I love to inhale
my hands at the end of this exaltation,
draw inside me the amalgam of garlic
and cut-grass and dough. Or my lover’s
residue, the bitter scent
of his cock or the unguent of his cum.
I feel it as something furtive,
yet gleefully innocent, like a Chinese whisper,
the transferring of these mattery scents
from hand to hand throughout the day,
unspoken pact: here, carry the cells
from my inner thigh in your pocket,
tiny, glass marbles of new planets, or the grit
from my lover’s cock like the unglowing
coals of shooting stars.


Date: 2005

By: Melanie Challenger (19??- )