You try to flex your thumb, make a circle
with your index finger, but it doesn’t
listen. Everything works on the left, but
something is stuck on the right. The hand
doctor pulls out a diagram describing
the arrangement of tendons: like
passenger cars on a train. Pulleys
allow for the ease with which they
can glide forward and back on the tracks.
Something is stuck in your thumb’s pulley
system, causing pain that radiates
from the hinge and tenderness at the base.
It hasn’t gone away, despite the different
kinds of salves friends have recommended.
When you hold a pen, your grip is awkward;
and marking student papers or signing
your name is like pushing an iron bar through
dry soil. And that train? It wants so badly
to leave the station, to climb up those hills.
Perhaps a masked man is holding the engineer
hostage, forefinger resting on the trigger.
What he wants exactly, no one can figure out.