Poetic Voices Winner


Ode to Her Hands
(to my Deborah)

By day, she uses her hands
to transform pale walls,
her alchemy of color:
ochre, the Pinnacles;
olive, River Road vineyards;
indigo, the Monterey Bay;
orchid, a field
of lupine.

By night, her hands
flicker and hum
blue light,
electricity from the stars.

At first, they burn,
almost too hot,
but soon the skin,
like honeyed soil,
soothes and mends,
molds me into her work of art,

the fingers,
long, strong bones,
a hawk’s open wings;
each nail,
granite stone and crescent moon;
each vein,
the Salinas River
pregnant with March rain;
each line,
the furrowed fertile earth
of the Salinas Valley;
knuckles,
the windswept bluffs
of Big Sur;
knuckles,
the sunlit hills
of the Santa Lucias.

Karina Young