Thunder (David Sheps)

Your wrinkled skin,
is soft and awkward
in my fumbling hands.

Gripping your arm like a paper crane,
pushing through your corduroy skin
I fear
the slightest squeeze might break you.

Like my first dance in grade seven
I hold you, clumsily
keeping distant in this close contact
as I search for your quiet pulse.

My sheepish grin meets
your crinkled smile,
reassuring, like an older lover.
It’s alright to be nervous your first time.

Braids of sweat gather as
I fail
this simplest skill.

A pause.
Then

Seconds thunder

Your every beat a defiant laugh
Blasting through your weary wrist

It patters on my fingers
But hammers heavy on my heart.

by David Sheps

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