My hands can recall the memory
of your hands, holding
as familiar as the turn
of a doorknob, a kitchen knife
clenched in a fist. When I unfetter,
you’ll find someone new to run
fingers over the framework
of your ribs, cradle your calcaneus,
read your scelestic liver and scrimshaw
with twinned palms: my coiling
tendons gone soft, wingspan of
my phalanx bones woven
to hold little birds in their nests.
Shastra Deo was born in Fiji and lives in Brisbane. Her first book, The Agonist (UQP, 2017), won the 2016 Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and the 2018 ALS Gold Medal.