Slick by Amanda Barbour

These hands feel small but
I know they are strong enough
to hold you.

Something touched me
once and it stayed with me.
Its slick oil clings to
my fingertips.
My grip slips and I
cannot seem to wash
these hands that still
reach for you.

Only you can clean
purge
purify
disinfect
these hands
this heart
the wasted years.
And after
I’m sure I could show
how strong I’ve become
sure I could hold
fast to the one
who nail-scarred hung bloody
on a tree just for me
so that I could have
these (clean) hands.

But I’d have to
believe
let go
let you
with water
oil
your blood
soak
immerse
baptize me
rid me of the slick that
steals my grip
and steels my heart
so often
against you.

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