What sound is made/when something slips away and the hand closes/and opens on nothing but cool air in its wake? /…That’s/the heart missing what it wants to hold fast.---From “Aubade” by Luisa A. Igloria, Via Negativa, 06-27-11
AN UNHEARD SOUND
She got curious about palmistry once:
I wagered she could not read my palms.
How much time will I have? Life line.
How much time do we have? Heart line.
How long will I hold on to my mind?
All of the lines end inside my open palm,
they have no story to tell. She dropped
my limp hand on her lap and said: You
are right, I could not read it. Could not?
Would not? Palm readers often clam up.
They would rather keep the dark where
they belong: inside bottomless darkness.
At sundown, on my hammock hour, I
look at my palms again, peer at them
against the waning glow. Did she know?
I open and close them wondering
what sound they would make if they
could, and quickly learn that old fingers
crackle then release weakly into open
palms, like a flower, or a needy heart:
I close them tightly now upon my chest
and pray that I could hold on fast
to even these leftover remembrances
now slipping through my flaccid fingers
like sand, like love when I was not looking.
---Albert B. Casuga