Tayve Neese

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.