Closing the Distance
Stephen Gardner

Out of the shadows, a hand
Reaches across a space of light,

Fingers stretching to their fullest length,
Parting the air that lies

Around the arm that the hand
Reaches for. To touch. The light

Accents the arm, blond hair
Becoming brown against white skin.

Are there long nails? Painted, red
And pointed? Yes. It is understood;

And they are sharper than lies,
Reach deeper than the truth,

Making the blood flow freely,
Evenly, from wounds so thin and clean

That the touched arm feels no touch.
They cut with the same unconscious ease

With which the fingers stretch at limber joints,
With which they slice through air.

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