Everyone wants surgeon hands
deft blood covered fingers.
Pianist painter guilt free hands
worker hands praying angry
athletes raised fists.
I’ve got my father’s hammer hands
nail fingers benzene burns calluses and scars
his hands knew tools and birthmarks
his fingers sharp knew magic wood.
My father’s hands knew liquor
trembling poured watch your back sad lonely drinks
crushed beer cans rabbit punched palmed dollars and razors.
His hands knew snake eyed dice
inside straights bent edge cards.
His fingers were fishnets
knew back doors down but not out whores
silk hems straight hair curls
did not look it they knew women.
His hands knew chicken necks
bull necks red necks and throats
sway backs ups and downs
blacks and whites white and black
left fingerprints on mom and me.
My father’s hands wanted no others.
I wanted his touch I have no hands.