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My hands by Zainab Kakal

Art by Prachee Batra

My stubby hands

with nails

eroded by my teeth,

too much cuticle,

dry shards of skin

spouting from its tips,

craters at its knots,

tiny follicles erupt

out of every pore

like volcanoes.

My hands are an artist’s

stained with paint of yesterdays,

mounds like rocks

battered by the sea,

they belittle my roots,

my privilege.

my hands are my father’s

who works with grease,

they twist every jar


My hands are not:

dainty, soft, discriminating.

They are only yielding

when held long enough.

My hands are ruins

that built castles.

My hands,

they are trunks of trees,

life marches on its lines



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