Today I invoked the name of God. Today I asked about the possibility of mercy. Today I asked if celestial ears ever heard pleading. My plea, the infinitesimal rising and falling of the chest whose tempo wavers between staccato and stillness. Today I try to maintain stillness. Today I can’t maintain stillness. Today it will take all of me to steady my legs, to put one foot in front of the other, to walk in a straight line, to keep my knees from buckling, as if in a pew.

Holding hands

The lover reaches to hold the beloved’s hand. This act, rendered almost inconsequential, requires a partial disengagement from the loved figures. There are no demands of sensual presence here. I think about kissing, which requires the sensory engagement of tasting, of touching– or sex, which requires all of it. Holding hands happens as a byproduct of other activities–walking, sitting down, driving along a clear highway. It necessitates an expected form of inattention from the loved object. A knee-jerk reaction of the bored lover.

The etymology of the word hold partially comes from Old Norse—hald, and partially Old English— geheald; both of which meant “to take custody of.” Hold, not as in “to have and to hold,” but “hold in custody.” I think about my hands intertwined with another’s, the insidious implications of it. This is to say: I need you–[unfinished]