Warm Hands

by Niobe Verena Moran Vidal

These days, I only dream

of things I know. I didn’t before.

Because what else is dreamland

but an escape from the tangible?

And what else are dreamers

but professional runaways?


These days though,

I dream of hands.

I dream of warm hands.


Warm hands gripped until

they are a shade softer,

and an inch thicker–

clutched until I couldn’t tell

if they were someone else’s,

or if they were my own.


These days, I dream of

the pulsing of blood,

the warmth gushing

through tiny blue and green veins,

and of the thrill of unknown terrain–

the tingling of skin against skin.


These days, I dream of hands.

I dream of hands cradled,

like a young child in the middle

of an uncertain and restless night.

I dream of the miniscule grooves and creases

that fold into patterns unreadable,

and the intertwines and bends,

and the heat,

the heat,

the heat

of fingers.


I dream of hands.

I dream of hands that could build

a home out of a stranger,

that could pull the vulnerability

out from my anger

and trace the hope

from the lines of my delirium.

I dream of putting my head into my hands

and grasping my thoughts,

of feeling what is running through my mind

on my palms–all flesh and bones,

a body trembling,


and lonely




I dream of hands,

raised against the light of the sun,

warm with the fever that seizes professional runaways–

hands that could summon

the strength and fragility of a flame,

and burn down dreamland as I knew it.

I dream of hands to gather

and to count the ashes,

and to fashion, from all that remains,

something I know,





something to hold.




(For D.)