Matt Dennison

The Hand

O to be dismembered on a Sunday afternoon, 
spread out in succession on a soft white cloth 
as eyes soundly cuffed into the giant palm watch 
an emerald lawn flow past the mighty hand.
Removed ears hear the distant bird’s whistle, 
the satisfied smack of competent lips. Arms, 
legs, hands: all washed in a tub of octane’d 
blood roughly swirled then set out to bask 
in the heavenly sun; liver and lungs 
soaked and wrung till they bounce back firm 
like a fresh, wet sponge. Tongue scraped, 
muscles lengthened, torso drained and lubed;
back straightened, head hand-tightened 
(two-thirds turn past snug). Eyes and all 
appendages thumbed flush into wet sockets. 
Momentary hesitation, threshold of rejection 
reached, the hand discards the heart and rips
a small box open: fibrous, stiff, clamps included,
it’s quickly soaked and snapped with muted 
flourish. Lingered-over brain considered—
Bah! Out with it! The hand drops a new globe 
into the scoured skull, secures breath upon 
the hemispheric nostrils and stands back, 
appraising, fading, receding, forever.


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After a rather extended and varied second childhood in New Orleans, Matt Dennison’s work has appeared in Rattle, Bayou Magazine, Redivider, Natural Bridge, The Spoon River Poetry Review and Cider Press Review, among others. He has also made videos with poetry videographers Michael Dickes, Swoon, and Marie Craven.

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