well-traveled hands

do you remember how it used to be?

when we were still innocent,

so much younger?

do you remember the first time you saw me?

i was wearing my cousin’s old tank top and a pair of shorts.

i remember the first time i saw you.

actually, maybe not the first time,

but i do remember the first time

I really saw you.

that stubborn piece of hair that never stayed in place.

your hands worn and callused,

but like home to the touch.

Photo Credit: pinterest.com

your smirk that can still melt me.

i remember that night,

surrounded by friends,

when i knew i wanted you.

but, now it’s too late,

you aren’t the same boy with the messy hair and soft smile.

our hands are like strangers,

i’m not even sure i know how yours feel anymore.

the lines i used to trace,

delicately, so as not to cause any slight ripple in their perfect surfaces.

we’re strangers,

but unlike the strangers we were when we met.

now, the uneasy feeling is from lack of contact,

not the absence of it altogether.

i don’t know the new you,

you don’t know the new me.

maybe one day,

i’ll once again trace the lines in your hands,

feeling their gorgeous warmth on the pads of my fingertips.

maybe you’ll remember the little things i do,

so unaware that i do them,

and you’ll tell me about it,

like it’s a well-known fact.

what i’m really trying to say is,

when can we not be strangers,

when can we be the new girl and the boy with the floppy hair

that knew each other like the backs of their well-traveled hands?

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fluttering

be sure to go slow with my heart,

it already beats too fast.

and, for me, it’s different

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when you hold your hand in mine

or when you look at me like that.

sometimes, i’m left without breath

for no reason,

so it’s not fair

when you run your hands through your hair.

i know in any given moment

when i’m with you,

the butterflies in my stomach aren’t simply innocent.

in our sunday morning coffee dates,

it isn’t the caffeine that makes me jittery.

no, my nervous giggles aren’t your fault.

you aren’t doing anything wrong.

but, when you do all your perfect little things,

when you do everything right,

it doesn’t make breathing any easier.

and, no, i’m not ignoring you

when i go silent,

i’m just afraid of saying the wrong things

because i don’t want to come to the day

when your smile isn’t a guarantee.

Old Hands

His old hands are ready. He lets out a sigh and reaches for his paintbrush. For him, painting has evolved from a hobby into an obsession.

His weathered fingers clutch the brush carefully, examining the shape and age. He views his subject. His grip tightens as he combines colors into the shades he desires.

His first stroke comes with a splash of a deep blue. The brush has become an extension of himself. He takes another stroke, slowly mixing in white paint until his deep blue has become as pale as the midday sky.

The cool air blows across his face. A face that has been weathered by a life lived and time passed. Each crevice in his skin is a symbol of his experiences.

The sand brushes against his legs, slowly aging the skin. Yet his painting continues, never ceasing.

His arthritic joints have become painful once again. He winces at every movement. His painting is near completion mere strokes away from finality.

His hands no longer obey him and he must begin to slow.

With a fine needle he signs his name and titles the piece.

His painting complete.

    “beach” by Stephen Giannetti, Paint on canvas

Your Feet

Your Feet

“When I cannot look at your face
I look at your feet.

Your feet of arched bone,
your hard little feet.

…But I love your feet
only because they walked
upon the earth and upon
the wind and upon the waters,
until they found me.”

Pablo Neruda

I love this poem because it can describe anybody that is special to you. Friend, family, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

My mother has always told me that your feet are the doorways to your well-being. If it is flu season, and your feet are bare, you are welcoming the sickness into your body.

I’ve always wondered why she said that. I mean, I could understand why she would advise me to take good care of my hands or perhaps my head, but my feet?
I figured that it was because we use them everyday to walk, to sprint, to skip, to tiptoe, to dance, to keep a rhythm. And since we use them so often, it is crucial that we take care of them.

But this poem took my perspective to another level. Your feet carries you from place to place.
It is not how often you use them or how you use them that make them so special but where they bring you and who you will meet.
That is why my mother stresses me to take care of my feet.

My feet have brought me so far these past 18 years. They brought me up and down mountains and through my life’s pinnacles and pitfalls.

It’s quite funny because my feet used to be my biggest source of self-consciousness. I hated them. I hated the way they looked. I especially hated that because of 4 years of soccer and track, I have two black toenails.
But now, I kind of admire them for where they have taken me. It is almost as if I have a strange respect for them.

Now, as I am going to college, it is time to let my feet take me wherever they choose to go. OH and the places I will see! The people I will meet!

Life is remarkable.

What Holds Me Together

High above, amongst the stars,

God checked his watch,

and realized it was time.

Time to make a story,

my story,

mine.

He wove together a string of trinkets,

some rusty,

some silver,

some gold,

and some of precious stones.

Of those trinkets,

there were many places.

Houses and apartments,

studios

and condominiums.

Restaurants, schools, corners and alleys.

There was a bit of Mexico.

Koreatown, too.

Some wormy grass,

and golf courses where the deer roamed at night.

And of course,

tied closely to these homes,

was my mother’s cooking,

my father’s laughter,

my sister’s pranks.

And there were my fears.

My anxieties,

all intertwined with my passions,

my soul,

and whatever else that stirs me and moves me and lifts me..

My friends and enemies,

my lovers and ex-boyfriends.

Teachers, mentors, coaches, neighbors.

Mailmen, taxi drivers, pilots, a Marine.

There was much joy.

But,

there were also tears and hardship,

loneliness and strife.

Yelling and screaming,

punching and throwing.

The threads mangled and fried.

But soon enough,

God, with his knowing hands,

his fingers so gentle,

created a piece.

And those loose threads,

they all straighten out to create

one magnificent picture.

One that is unique.

One that is me.

mine.