Nerves

Dear Nerves,

 

Blame I cast,

to you.

 

When I meet someone new

and

reach out to shake their hand

A customary tradition-

By all,

but a few.

 

Can they,

please,

overlook

my sweaty palms?

 

Wipe quickly,

be discrete.

Do you think he-

noticed?

Does she-

have me beat?

I suppose I was never that great of a sneak-

no cheat.

 

Still moist.

I clap my thighs repeatedly,

airing.

 

Fan out the fans.

 

If only I could hold a water bottle.

A master disguise.

 

Oh, ‘tis only condensation.

 

To no avail.

 

I notice him

wipe his hands

on his

buttoned up shirt,

After contact

with my

own.

 

Maybe,

He and I,

since I can’t call us we,

can shake hands again.

 

In the comfort of my home

And, maybe,

Maybe,

he can wait till I have exercised

‘Till I have the endorphins rushing

'Till the sweat and I are done blushing

 

‘Till I have showered

Soaped down.

 

Maybe

if he won’t bother striking conversation

Maybe

If he and I sit in comfortable silence

Maybe

If he make no moves to touch me with his lips

Maybe

If he doesn’t grip my hips like handlebars

Maybe

If he and I-

don’t make contact, at all.

 

Maybe

If we watch the television screen-

In opposite caves

In opposite worlds.

 

Maybe,

He won’t

wipe his hands then.

 

Next time he and I make physical acquaintance

He will nod his head.

A curtsey,

And certainly,

A courtesy.

 

Cringing upon the last interaction,

He knows not to shake the slimy.

Leave the slimy sausages in the fridge,

Or, in the ocean,

Normal,

amongst fish.

Maybe,

Fine,

in an oyster stew.

 

You, nerves, could implant a virus into me.

Maybe,

I’ll create a pearl,

before death.

 

This virus could make me forget my social concerns.

I could focus on internal,

rather than external,

discomforts.

   

This poem is about: 
Me

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