The Back of my Hand

Remembering second grade, when
I lathered my palm with glue and closed my fist.
Waiting for it to dry I’d
study the back of my hand.

Sandia Mountains tensed.
Central tendon cut
Albuquerque in half.
From my northern thumb, sunk a valley.
The pores,
clumped under my pinkie
spoke Spanish
while my knuckles grew
whiter and whiter.
My single, red wart
was the Wells Fargo office
(its windows autumned in the sunset).
The brunette Bosque
massaged the banks of my veins.
A long Rio Grande bled
quietly down to my hooked wrist.

Leaving home was opening my fist:
the mountains uncurled.
Fingerprints became airplanes.
Looking at my open palm
the creases of my love
lines were foreign:

an unfamiliar snow
stuck to a dry skin.


Reed Bobroff grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico: evidenced by his affinity for the Sandia Mountains, green chile, Zia suns, and failed baseball teams. Send him an email at

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