Who means what it is to be human
and is scarred by childhood.
Thick and neckless. Your head shaped
like a gravestone.
A smile opens across the knuckle and disappears
every time you lift a tumbler of scotch.
Who holds a pen and lies.
Who holds a chopstick
in the language of still-twitching fish.
When you think of the past you form a fist
until a heart beats.
Once removed by a chisel. Then reattached.
You stiffen in the rain and dream
of pudding—a smooth, boneless lake.
Who butters morning toast
while wearing a butter hat.
Who fingers the ad for beef, grows numb
while talking to a girl on the phone.
Useless while typing. Useless
tool who only worships space.
A stump. A blackened stamp.
Your own private map of loneliness.
Who always leans to one side. Detached.
Distant from all others.
Copyright © 2017 by Hadara Bar-Nadav. “Thumb” was published in The New Nudity (Saturnalia Books, 2017). Used with permission of the author.