Tuesday, January 31, 2006

"Holding Hands"

NYT: Holding Loved One's Hand Can Calm Jittery Neurons.

Michael McFee:
After weeks of yearning
half-taps and near-grasps,
my sweaty palm found hers
and we made a leaky basket
of our interlaced fingers
and that was it, hallelujah,
finally we were holding hands
in public, we were shaking
sideways on a visual contract
everybody could understand,
I was hers and she was mine,
the two of us had begun
becoming one clasped flesh,
now we were happily coupled
from the supple wrists down,
we were carrying the pet
with two backs between us
as if we'd never before
squeezed another human
in such a meaningful way,
as if she had never seized
her tall anxious mother
when first learning to walk
or cross the lethal street,
that firm grip saving her,
as if I would never clutch
a dying father's calluses
in cardiac intensive care
and feel our shared pulse,
the mutual prayer of blood,
as if she and I would never
tire of each other's touch
and try to figure out how
to escape this embarrassing
collision of crinkled skin,
this padded cage of bones,
these too-long-opened fists
before somebody passing by
mistook for love our resigned
inability to quite let go.


Blogger Joel said...

I ignored this story, except for the headline. Last night, I had a bad night in my support group when a friend accidentally triggered both me and a schizoaffective who is notorious for not taking his meds and throwing in his own two cents of torment. I got things resolved with the friend, but the schizoaffective needled me enough to provoke an outburst.

Two friends rushed up and seized my hands, squeezed them, stroked them. I felt the irritableness exhaust.

We need human contact, skin to skin this study avers. I believe.

1:09 PM  

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