Five Pairs of Hands

The first had hands like butter
Slippery, smooth and sweet – a sugary smile
Her fluffy hair was cotton candy above frosted cherry lips
I grew fat on her love

The second had hands made of oak
Hands that made magical doors, flying ships and broomsticks
She used iron nails to hammer together our destinies
Our love was an impossible fairytale

The third had hands like birds
Wary and untrusting; you hid away and clenched tight
Your heart was that of an injured animal
And although my love healed your broken wing, you never belonged in this cage of mine

The fourth had hands like sledgehammers
And a shadow that I desperately clung to
My bruises spoke of a truth I refused to think about
Her iron fists told me that she loved me

And so, here I am
My life spent giving love away, working so hard to please everyone that my own hands are sandpaper
I must be doing love wrong – it shouldn’t hurt this much

In a shining future, I can see the fifth
Her hands are cloth that bandage my heart
She will be my teacher, showing me the simplest way of being alive
Her lessons will remove the stains and clean me pure
I will never let go of the fifth, my first true love


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