The following is an excerpt from Cole Swensen’s “Seven Hands” as originally published in Conjunctions:35.
The Hand Defined: 1
How is the We define the Where begin? an elbowful of muscle
fine as an inner ear
Those who say the definition of the hand begins in the shoulder say
those who say (the abbreviate) (mya): between 3.9 and 4.2 Million
Years Ago, Australopithecus anamemsis: to find. Fossils of the
hand and feet are so much rarer than those of skulls. Refined. We’re
back to the inner ear. To hold onto earth hearing
with the fingertips all those singly
millions of early braille, caressing a an
armful of earth in falling
and is still falling
structure of the back and shoulder
and enormous parts of the brain.