• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 01
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The Gap

I lost touch when you took your hands away. What is there left to feel?

There is a man in my house who lived through a massacre. He is tearing up the floors, stripping the walls. For each task, a different glove. On the anniversary of that day, like every day, I offer him a drink, and he reveals his story in a language native to neither of us. Eyes wet, the start of red. I ask him how he survived. He points to the sky. His hand is bare.

Adam and God reach for each other but do not touch. Between them, a synaptic gap. A space of translation. How strange that we are asked to cover our heads and not our hands in the temple.

I gave my lovers my hands. The gardener. The paratrooper. The chemist. The fool. But pressed together was never close enough. I wanted to be inside them, but inside was not enough. It is not inside we want, but union. To feel ourselves in dialogue, to touch. The impulse rising to the skin. I reach for you, the concentration in my fingertips. A transmission. There were no words. It was all in the touch, our finger-tip feeling. You and I, we broke where the light crept in. An unrelenting dawn.

Every lost lover is a language gone dark.

I cover my hands now. Keep them out of reach. Pick up a glove on the street, his gloves from my floor. (I pretend he won’t miss them.) Feeling left, feeling right. My hands on mute. Speaking only to themselves. Filling.