smooth hands calloused hands truck hands desk hands
hands caress the smalls of our backs run fingers down our cheeks

buy braceletspump gas   offer forkfuls of pasta     those hands slide
wedding bands      link pinkies          carry groceries in one trip

those same hands           paint                                    worlds in shades of   black and blue
those hands        lift us                            not in embrace         but chokehold

strong hands cold hands        dangle keys to white broncos     aren’t those
hands so slippery    with billfolds      bribes        handcuffs can’t      hold them

police hands let slip                             our bruised bodies
between fingers      we fall  into another                              fist



Jenn Strife Gibbs earned her MFA in poetry from the University of Tennessee. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in CALYX, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, GFT Press, and Easy Street Magazine. She lives in East Hartford, Connecticut with her husband and two Yorkies.