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Poetry

But instead of pressing palms
tight as I was taught,
I cup one palm
over the other—
fingertips to wrists—
before my belly.

This is how I show God
what I’m asking,
how I direct God’s hands
to dive into my husband’s gut
where cancer harbors
in the sea of his bladder—
a dark hulk gnawing at the shoreline.

How I show myself God’s hands—
ribbed and tawny as the shell
called lion’s paw—hinged
over the bladder, holding in—
I hope—all harm.

How I teach myself to sink
deep into the murky realms
where there is neither light
nor word, where there is only
being held and holding.


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