You had cut your hand in college,
At the sinews of your knuckle.
We had gone to see you before then, for the play
That you were in.
That’s how you cut your hand, I think
Carving props for your play.
I can’t remember if we took you to the hospital
Or if we met you there
But we were so worried while waiting.
In the white halls that I vaguely recall,
I prayed to Ong, Jesus, and God,
Anyone who’d listen,
To help you through this, to help you heal.
What if you could never use your hands,
and help put others back together again?
It was mostly my child self being dramatic, I suppose,
But it was real to me at the time then.
You came out, your hand bandaged, if I can remember correctly,
With the grim face of a discharged soldier
who wants to keep fighting.
On the way home, I can’t recollect what I did to hurt you more,
Maybe I played on your wounds, figuratively or literally, I can’t say,
But you asked, softly, seriously,
“Why do you hate me?”
Your words cut me at the sinews.
I was too frozen to say then
What had always been there,
Like bone, muscle,
That I loved you.