Amie Whittemore

4 Palmistry Poems

Hands Reveal Genetic Influence

Not just the physical self. The connection between—
hands, consciousness, hair, eye color, body shapes.
The child behaves or reacts,
a person likes or dislikes: an inherited trait.
Some people need the ride.
On a bench at the Chicago library, I was struck by
the way they held their heads. Their faces both wore
their gestures. So taken by them,
I asked if they laughed. I asked if I could take—
nearly in unison, I would have asked to take their hands.
Far more than we think, far more than we suspect—
we never really know someone else.
The living and dead will show up in our hands.
Thus, we breathe our first breath. A single marking. A story.
There is not a lone gene: interaction determines life.
We can inherit a morning or an evening.
We often become more aware, prone to illness or receding, as we age.
The chosen is wishful thinking. A woman may have liked more.



Issue 25