You tested fate and placed the golden ring
around my finger, where it has been
for twenty years, wearing itself in.
My palm’s uniquely callused, blistering
quickly while I work. My hand’s tipped off
to its presence, bracing for the bite
of metal in a handhold, for the tightness
on the knuckle as the ring slips off
and on, its infinitesimal added weight
creating a disturbance in the play
of my hand, the swing of my arm. The way
I move has changed, assimilated.
Now, remove the ring, my hand feels bare;
remove the hand, the arm, the ring’s still there.
in The Hudson Review Autumn 2007