Gesture Life


It seems like nothing
to slide a button into
its buttonhole, a belt

into its buckle. The one
without fingers or a hand
learns to feed and bathe

herself, comb her hair,
write a letter— patience
the foot touching the earth

and everything upon it.
Cells travel a generation
or two, then knock up

against the hem
of a newborn's striped
hospital blanket. Some things

come out in the wash. Others
take years to peel away,
to excavate, to be seen

for what they are.
History astounds in even
the smallest particulars.

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