Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


You Are So Articulate With Your Hands

she says & it’s the first time
the word doesn’t hurt. I respond
by citing something age-inappropriate
from Aristotle, drawing mostly
from his idea that hands are what make us
human, every gesture the embodiment
of our desire for invention or care & I’m not
sure about that last part but it seemed
like a polite response at the time
& I’m not accustomed to not needing
to fight. If my hands speak with conviction
then blame my stupid mouth for its lack
of weaponry or sweetness. I clap when I’m angry
because it’s the best way to get the heat out.
Pop says that my words are bigger
than my mouth but these hands
can block a punch, build a bookcase,
feed a child & when’s the last time
you saw a song do that?

Credit


Copyright © 2014 Joshua Bennett. “You Are So Articulate With Your Hands” was originally published in Smartish Pace. Used with permission of the author.

 

Author


Joshua Bennett

Joshua Bennett is the author of Owed (Penguin, 2020). He teaches at Dartmouth College.

Date Published: 2018-10-03

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/you-are-so-articulate-your-hands