Sterile

Jon Ogden

Even though my hands have never clicked mice
to slave my sight to late night phantom bodies,
even though my fists did not pummel sockets
and jaws when our carping children sterned me,
even though these hands did never embezzle,
or needle prick black-alley-frantic veins—

they still manage to miracle you nothing
except comfort, warmth on your hair.
For when you sniffle and migraine to me
your faith does not think of pills—it thinks
of holy oil and these hands, which are
weak as you but hoping, even then.

And there are dreams of us together.
You pinned in a tin can car, bleeding
to me to save you. Ministering angels dissolve
under pressure. Sirens break a wavering
line to God. Doubt crowds. I find myself,
lukewarm palm pumping your chest.