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Eunice Tietjens: The Hand

tietjenseunice005

Eunice Tietjens

(1884 – 1944)

 

The Hand

 

As you sit so, in the firelight, your hand is the color of

new bronze.

I cannot take my eyes from your hand;

In it, as in a microcosm, the vast and shadowy Orient

is made visible.

Who shall read me your hand?

 

You are a large man, yet it is small and narrow, like the

hand of a woman and the paw of a chimpanzee.

It is supple and boneless as the hands wrought in pigment

by a fashionable portrait painter. The tapering

fingers bend backward.

Between them burns a scented cigarette. You poise it

with infinite daintiness, like a woman under the

eyes of her lover. The long line of your curved

nail is fastidiousness made flesh.

 

Very skilful is your hand.

With a tiny brush it can feather lines of ineffable suggestion,

glints of hidden beauty. With a little

tool it can carve strange dreams in ivory and

milky jade.

 

And cruel is your hand.

With the same cold daintiness and skill it can devise

exquisite tortures, eternities of incredible pain,

that Torquemada never glimpsed.

And voluptuous is your hand, nice in its sense of touch.

Delicately it can caress a quivering skin, softly it can

glide over golden thighs…. Bilitis had not

such long nails.

 

Who can read me your hand?

In the firelight the smoke curls up fantastically from

the cigarette between your fingers which are the

color of new bronze.

The room is full of strange shadows.

I am afraid of your hand….

 

 (From The Interior)

Eunice Tietjens poetry

fleursdumal.nl magazine 

More in: Archive S-T, Tietjens, Eunice

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