Hold by Gowri Koneswaran

we’re taught to hold hands
when we cross the street
or walk with our mothers in parking lots or
navigate crowds with a friend and
don’t want to end up alone
hold hands with whomever is closest
when the power goes out
when the sirens scream near
when the moving of men marches
silences into the corner
hold hands when
they come calling,
when they threaten,
“this is necessary to
teach you a lesson” or
“this is necessary
to protect you”
hold hands when we stand still,
when we walk, when
we run
when they tell us to
surrender
when they tell us
to do anything
hold hands when we
fall from the sky,
with or without parachute
when we leap from tall buildings,
with or without
the ability to fly
hold hands with the ones who
don’t
look like us,
talk like us,
believe like us
hands like fragile boxes or bombs,
things that could break or explode
each finger a troop in the human army
each gesture a shield

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