Ode to Hands


No, I am not done exalting
our saffron, the carpets, the ruins
in their glory from hands contused, inheritor
of theatrical praise, hands, stimulant
for excessive gratitude, to hands,
to dast we applaud, may your hands not ache
to replace thank you, in a state
of kissing your hands as another
expression of thanks, I sacrifice myself
for your hands after a meal, a gift, a gesture,
hand and heart open synonymous with generous,
the hidden hand bestowing good fortune,
the labor of hands, the product of diligence, hands
that penned epics, chiseled limestone, callused
looping yarn around warp—we are
hyperbolic in recognition, delightfully melodramatic
for the metacarpus that molds the offerings
we receive; no, I am not done
exalting—do you know how long
I have filled my pockets and wallet
with inflation, with you are valuable! Irreplaceable!
when I dissent, that I am earning less than
and I am working harder than my       colleagues,
one of them warns me, don’t bite the hand that feeds you, as if
generations of bleeding hands
would ever let me starve

Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad