The Palm of My Hand

Beauty moves in curves, in imprecise shapes of things like this wrinkly soft face I look deep into.  I turn it left and right, and press my thumb into its well. My thumb likes this art of recalling mother’s smooth soft knee, Ed’s crushed leather couch, pink rose petal creases, and that day we spent sitting on Hearst’s warm sandy beach. I stroke this simple satchel and begin to decipher the paper-worn map buried inside, but I’m side-tracked by a feeling.  A balding Wilson tennis ball I batted at my brother; neither young nor old, neither here nor there. My hand in my hand. It really is nice. I study it a while longer because I like this linger, this remember.

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Ben Shahn, Harvard Art Museums

 

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