by Franson Thiel
—Name something / More generous / More willing / To bleed.
Jessica Khailo, from “Vulture” [The Quarter(ly), vol. V]
More than any other part of your body,
your hands have endured the most.
Fusing barbell knurlings to the ring a man
gave you when he gave you his last name.
More than that, forging knuckles thick and
raw where he kisses you gently.
Though you’ve never been gentle. Every time
you try and count the scars, you lose track.
There has only ever been one ring. You have
kneaded dough, traced rivers in his
mountain ravine back. Grabbed the least bruised
apple, hoping for sour. Built sand castles
carving hand-shaped moats for saltwater
protection. Your hands, the ones your
grandma called, the perfect piano hands,
not given to music, but to movement, to him.
Taylor Franson Thiel is a writer from Utah, now based in Fairfax, Virginia. She received her Master’s in creative writing from Utah State University and is pursuing an MFA at George Mason University. Her writing frequently centers on playing as a Division One basketball player, the body, and mental health. Along with writing, she enjoys lifting heavy weights and reading fantastic books. You can find her on Twitter @TaylorFranson.