Touching Without Feeling

I examine my fingers
they are red and swollen
veins, ridged and blue

clasping them together
like a child praying
perhaps anticipating

better things to come
opening a present or
holding a loved one

the numbness spreads
up my wasting muscles
to arm, shoulder and heart

like being eaten
from the inside out
the body unlearning

all previous skills
until all that remains is
touching without feeling



poem © copyright Brian Shirra 2011


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