Gayle Brandeis

  (1545) 1: a semitransparent whitish very
  pure gelatin prepared from the air bladders
  of fishes (as sturgeons) and used esp. as
  a clarifying agent and in jellies and glue
  2: MICA

When I was a girl,
sometimes I covered
my entire palm with glue.
I had heard that glue
was made of horse hooves,
maybe even horse bones,
which disturbed me a bit,
although I liked to think
that horses were somehow working
their way into the grooves
of my hand, my life line,
my love line, galloping
across my destiny.
I didn't consider it might be fish
sticky on my fingers,
their air bladders burst open,
singing of glass, shiny
as the chips of mica
glinting on the rocks
outside my cousin's house,
the ones I used to think were gold.
I peeled the glue
in one dry, pliable, sheet
from my hand and held it
to the light, fragile
as fish skin, the tracings
of my palm swimming
lightly in the air.


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