You can pick my grandfather’s skin straight off the
scaffolding of his fingers like a piece of Kleenex.
You can read tendons and veins like a road map
to nowhere. His knuckles are parched reverse-oases no
amount of Vaseline can replenish, yet a few ruddy hairs
still grow there stubbornly. My mother once told me that
when you’re old you lose your fingerprints. I inspected his
finger-pads and they are baby-skin-smooth. Worn,
shiny like pebbles in a river, history’s friction.
Even his palms barely showcase those lines of love, life,
health, children. My grandfather’s hands are wide
but gentle. What can contain him?