My fingers are rings
glinting bits of gold and silver
but I never wore them like that

fingers are meant to be of a ________
you can build a boat with your fingers, my father says
my fingers are needles
my fingers are the springs of an iron cot
my fingers know the difference
between what a man thinks and what he does

my fingers are sky-blue varnish chipped,
and tattooed on each digit is the same warning:
Keep out of your father’s light.

when I dip them in the ocean there is confusion of their form.


I reached out to feel the water, which was as blue as anything else I had known. It was cool and my fingers were divining rods stirring up treasure from the sand. There was a pool full of minnows nearby which escaped as one when I approached, my fat fingers reaching forlornly after their shadows. The sun was a giant sandcastle and so I built a home beneath it. It was good there in the shallows with the cool water and the life of the sun and the little creatures skittering by. At long last, the tide brought in a revision to the damage I had caused and I grew bored and waddled on.

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