White Devil Hands

She just finished
washing
gasoline
off her hands
an hour ago
&there’s dirt
under every nail
that she can’t get at
&there’s a cut
on the crux
of her index finger
growing
deeper &burning
whenever she makes a fist
so she sets a task:
I will
not make a fist,
but of course
she clenches
&she burns
&now her hands
won’t unravel
nor will they suffer
into a wrinkle of soil
for her fingers to wriggle
as if worms, because
they will never soften.

for dVerse Poets

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