Your Hand, a Map
Liza Katz

Your Hand, a Map

I know the routes that render your hand a map,
a page where the day scrawls its scrimshaw patterns:
paper-cut gorges, rigid callus mesas,
fingertip whirlpools, ink blot gulfs and lakes.
I am a tired explorer, charting each course
by night, by candle flame, by compass rose.
What lines are these, what monumental scars,
where tortured roads and tributaries lead?
What ships sailed these lifeblood waterways
whose banks my fingers trace? What pulse fueled them?
What storm delayed the fleet and stirred the wave
that carried me here, and after what dark calm?
I plant these many questions, let them settle,
unspoken, in the soil of your palm.

Liza Katz

teaches English as a second language in New Jersey. Her poems and essays have appeared in Poet Lore, Omniverse, The Critical Flame, and other journals.