teaching the family to sign

Speak loud
with washed fingers
(dust dulls
the sensitivity of touch)

into the ear of her dirt-free hand.
Speak
a speckless voice

loud.
Roll your fingers lightly, just slightly
above the lifeline

etched in her upturned palm.
Carve
an untethered river

into a wild girl's mind. Open
her tight fist
to a feather-bed of stars

to the leer of a bluejay
the whistling rain under the eaves
the snap of a green bean
the clank of a metal pot.



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