Meg Stout
Grasp

Meg Stout - Grasp

Creative Nonfiction
Meg Stout lives in Burlington, Vermont, where she likes her winters cold, her summers humid, and her arts community eccentric.… Read more »
Matthew Hobson
The Audubon Guide to North American Suicides

Matthew Hobson - The Audubon Guide to North American Suicides

Creative Nonfiction
Matthew Hobson’s work has appeared in literary journals including Hayden’s Ferry Review, The Chattahoochee Review, River City, South Dakota Review,… Read more »
Sheila O’Connor
Winter Boys

Sheila O’Connor - Winter Boys

Creative Nonfiction
Sheila O’Connor is the award-winning author of four novels: Keeping Safe the Stars, Sparrow Road, Where No Gods Came and… Read more »

Grasp

Meg Stout

1.
I have my mother’s hands: heavily lined, in proportion to my six-foot body, large enough to cup a basketball. The middle fingers angle out with a sharp bump, point away from my center. The palms are fleshy, pads of the thumbs like teardrops.

2.
At the surgeon's office, my arms look sleek beneath the white lights. He asks if he can touch me, rests his thumb against my inner wrist. Inside: a peanut, a tiny cyst.

3.
I am young. I put my hands through countless stressors: glass doorknobs, narrow cups of tea, the wire end of a slippery earring. Yards of merino wool, alpaca, cotton slub, synthetic yarn. Steering wheels. Handlebars. Bread dough on the second rise. With one hand, I punch it down and knead.

4.
The doctor finds hardness all over my upper body: thick trigger points along my shoulders, curled ropes in my neck. Have you been stressed? He asks.

5.
In the garden, my hands hover like honeybees. Clothed in rubbery fabric, they fly among the soil and greenery as I touch peppers, tomatoes, chamomile. Crabgrass is removed with a twist of the arm; tiny maples pulled by the stem. I finger a… Read more »