Rita Dove’s “Thomas and Beulah” by Michael Vander Does

the ball of your thumb
nestles
the cup
between my thumb’s
nail and knuckle

implicit in this glimpse of time
are the small adjustments we will make
again and again
to keep fingers
from tingling
hand muscles
from cramping
shoulders from
aching

to separate our hands
and let them breathe

each
knowing
movement
accommodating
compensating

like players whose knees gave out
at a crucial moment,
we move carefully
betrayed

by our bodies
our understanding
of our lives and our lovers
doubting
we adjust for wind speed and direction
temperature and humidity
sniffing the air

carrying a body
within
a self
carrying our bodies
our selves
everything
caught
in the crack of a knee
a caress

past and future cohabit
this tiny
tucking
of our bodies

 

Michael Vander Does is a jazz-poet from Columbus, Ohio. He has been published here and there. He performs with The Jazz Poetry Ensemble (poetry/trombone). ( http://www.makejazznotwar.org ). His poetry is informed by avant-garde jazz. He has received occasional awards. His all-yard garden is also informed by avant-garde jazz. @jazzpoetryensem https://www.facebook.com/jazzpoetryensemble/