A Hand Out

 by Leslie Grollman

To want the shape of your body in my hand

To rock as in chanting as in forgetting my name

A novice unsure of how unsure of timing

How to blue the bronze of can’t 
          into a summer’s moon, into a naked swim 

A sculptor carves too deep into the marble then a debt is owed 

How do I swim spiraling currents deep yet debt-free  

What if I retract one hand to your two extended

What if only half is honey is tongue is morning moss 

Sometimes I may mistake my Self for hightide

What if you are mantis and I want malachite

Sometimes I feel like mountain water: crisp and fresh, babbling 
        in small streams, bubbling between stones and grasses bulging

I leave a suitcase full in case an avalanche comes  

What if silk fails   

What if we repeat ourselves: what if we run out
         of stories: we are not Scheherazade

Sometimes I may mistake you for a sand-filled empty,
        abandon you on a red plaid blanket  

Then what if my forgiveness hasn’t forgiven me

When I place my hand on your plumed flesh, close my eyes, I see our end

                        What is the half-life of a taste  

Then water rushes down a mountain, there is no time to hide

To weep is to wander in place

                        I brush my hair pretending it cascades

Leslie Grollman’s work appears in Yolk, Spoken Word Scratch Night, Writing Utopia 2020 Anthology, The Selkie, Together: An Anthology, Thimble, Nailed, Pathos, From Arthur’s Seat, other publications, and is forthcoming. Leslie was chosen to be a reader for one of Octopus Books’ open reading periods. She holds an MSc Creative Writing, Poetry, with Distinction, from the University of Edinburgh.