Clench

A flag of fingers, coiled up
like a nest of adders
in a crowd, blunt of purpose
they are bolstered in a
solidarity that the individual tips
cannot know by touch.

And blow by blow, the fingers
receive them each his own, one fifth
of the trauma, wary draftees
to this militant clan.

Once swinging, arms now dangle aside
dear senses, please return intact
some part of what was abandoned:

A decoded texture, a balanced spoon
the almost unknowable softness
of a rose petal.