assimilating the experience of you (for Bill)

we shook hands when we met
          three fingers fanned and arched like palmfronds shading
          thumb and forefinger that grasp the drinkingtab
          of your carryout coffeecup, steamcurlicues
          around them just like morningfog around tall buildings in The City

          two fingers extract one cigarette from freshpack,
          your cupped windbreak hand a shadowy vaulted secretchamber
          until illumined by the lighter's quickflame just like sudden
          transbaytunnel thirdrail electricity or
          inspiration with desire

your hands just once held mine; we danced
          four thoughtful fingers lounge against your cheek and jaw
          in individual attitudes like streetpeople posturing for sparechange
          as you listen to me, chin on palm
          five fingers bask like sunning sealions on the promontory of your knee
          one finger emphasizes salient points about which you feel strongly

i wish i wish i wish that it would point the way to me

          i can't even
                                 to contemplate your


Thea Chesley