Only Her Buried Hand Rises
from photograph of Darfur genocide, 2006
From soil, the wrist and fingers are not bloom and stamen,
although the child that first found the rising tarsals
thought them something for picking.
This is not the hand of Donatello’s Magdalen,
although the angle of thumb and finger suggest it.
This is not Michelangelo’s hand of the Sistine Chapel.
What angels were ever here?
This is not the hand of Fatima
with its wide eye open at center palm
able to repel the fire.
This is not the hand I will hold in mine,
our flesh speaking mother to mother,
knuckles telling how they kept daughters
suspended at breast, how fingertips rolled toes,
new bones as prayer beads.