Our Hands

I have one formal photo of the two of us,
you, in a rare suit, stiff but (barely) smiling;
I, in an olive dress, autumn-patterned.
We were going to a wedding, our only, I think.
Your mother was so pleased to see her son,
handsome in a suit, rather than t-shirt, jeans;
she took a picture. You could not resist her,
your mother, the way you can resist me.

I spent that Christmas with your family,
estranged from mine; she gave me a copy kindly,
framed in black, formal. I kept it in my desk,
not sure if you would want it out where anyone
might see it. I forgot it for a while. I moved
away, then moved again to join you, years later.
The photo moved with me, from desk to closet.

And then you went away, to work, and I stayed,
for school. I took the photo out of the closet,
dusted it, placed it on a table. It has sat there
since last September, full of stiff formality,
your almost-smile, our bodies facing forward,
clearly posed. Only yesterday I noticed, down
in the left-hand corner, almost lost against
the frame, your hand on my hip, pale against
the autumn dress. My arm stretches down,
and one finger curves up to embrace one of yours.

I had not noticed this before.ourhands