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  • Haylee Caserta


Held hands with a new boy last night.

We walked over graves and his hands were cold.

“Cold hands, warm heart”, my father used to say—

and better that than cold feet.

I have an infatuation with the intimacy of the hands.

Our first instinct as infants is to grab—

to cling to our mothers—

to cling to each other.

I have an obsession with

hand-knit gloves and mittens—

bare nails and manicures.

Clammy palms and nervous nail biting.

Shadow puppets and paper cuts—

knuckle cracking, palm reading—

peace signs, engagement rings.

Our hands are the tools we use to paint—

the vehicle for all creation.

And the softness of touch

is the fondness in newness—

and the reason why

everything is idealized

and romanticized

inside the mind

of a seventeen year old girl.

Because while you could walk through a cemetery in silence—

thinking only of the scents of the fast food chains across the road—

worried about the respect the passing cars have for the dead—

at the very least—

your right hand will be warm.

So when I think about last night

and about that song that got stuck in my head—

the one about galaxies and stars—

I’ll think about how vast we are

and how small we are

and how glad I am

to know that there are still so many things

I’ve yet to reach out and touch.



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