by Stephen Humphrey
The human hand obsessively, even defensively
overstates its tendency toward gadgets.
Fingers, like overdeveloped mealworms,
wriggle over lettered plastic, alloyed aluminum,
and dirty little screens, as if these were always there
to be overrun by floundering digits.
But the hand can never forget its queer phylogeny:
lobes of monstrous Devonian fish
plodding through benthic muck,
coveting small, darting prey,
decamping to shallows and seashores,
fearful of even more awful giants below.
At last they heaved themselves, gasping,
to exile in burning, bright air,
where the meme of hands
erupted over slow centuries
from tortured limbs,
verbose, pitiful climbers
that quit trees for savannahs.
In naked, furtive gangs, they reached for
stones, heavy sticks and adversaries,
deplored the thin gases around them:
not buoyant, vivid or enclosing like water.
Yet they were amazed how their ropy limbs
caused rocks and timber to fly.
The drag of wind
made matter sing
as arms propelled it,
squelching the presumptuous flight
— from Juniper Volume 3, Issue 2