I would like most to remember
his hands - palm pressed to calm cheekbone
a cool touch, collected
and capable of anything.

I have seen these hands
prayer-stitched and penitent
folded neatly into one another
They have been both church and steeple - prayer and pulpit.
They have known the weight of praise, and the light of Saturday nights
spent in quiet reflection.

I have seen these hands at peace,
a symphony of purpose - harmonic
and charged with their own music -
a metronome precision of movement,
No note wasted.

I have seen them, also - uncertain
constant as clockwork
twitching and shifting agitation,
a steady, endless ticking...
Fondling cigarette casualties
casually, with fixed attention,
Flicking ash into air
into cup
into upturned palms
Lighting one off the butt of the other
smothering the unsteadiness of time
in the constancy of ritual.

And also,

his tentative grip - slow and timid
shufflestitch of fingers,
seeking shelter between my own.

Still, I would like most to remember this -
Calm palm pressed to cheekbone.
His cool touch, collected
and capable of anything.