In my palm I fold the inexhaustible currency of Clio’s small hand.
Pain in the Dungarvan of my heart.
Benjamin says he can feel the texture of his loneliness.
Comes with great insistence a once familiar ache.
Clio comes for a kiss: soft as silk is her cheek—a cliché hard to improve on.
Clio’s kiss is precise & delicate as the tension that caps milk or cream, a little curved lid, a lenticle, a lens.
I drive my five fingers into a bank of snow to know what it feels like: it looks more than feels: sunlight on white snow. Yesterday Clio drove a hole in a snowbank and buried the note she had written in Morrison's Office Supplies: Help us! My Daddy went away!
There’s that silk again—her small thighs.
The sheath of balloon between finger & thumb feels like rubbery penis, silky & bland.
Fresh nan bread folded & folded again still soft on the tongue.
I keep touching my hip where my lost phone should be.
Every touch on my foot is visible, I feel its design.
My hand cupped under her rump: where did my fat baby go?
Honey across the bottom of a hot whiskey glass.
Soft green scarf against my neck.
Gushy warm burger in Eddie Rocketts with soft grilled onions and woozy grey mushroom caps.
Angie, Clio and I stood round patting and trying out Marina’s hair after she got it thinned and cut.
My Christmas body lotion makes me want to lift myself closer.
Warm sudsy water makes light of doing dishes. Unable to open pasta sauce jar tonight: what is the relationship between touch and strength?
What seems fluid to the eye is harsh, unforgiving, made for the weather, ridged to the finger-tip.
At midnight Clio and I run at each other from opposite ends of the porch and clink glasses for good luck in 2004.
When I wake up I feel like a warm sponge pudding, perhaps with a base of spicy stewed apple and a topping of golden syrup—or melted butterscotch.
Light touches are the most delicious.
Skydivers softfall all over my body dropping silken parachutes.
I grow touchpads all over my skin and fly to Barcelona to roll around with Gaudí.
I rest my head in my hand, my own fingers against my own forehead, my own palm against my own cheek.
The worn panels of Clio’s coldy blanky lift like sunburnt skin.
My brain feels as if it has been swimming in a lake. I am happy for the first time in years.
The pads of my fingertips are shiny to touch with the pads of my fingertips.
The current issue of Time is all about sex and touch. I must buy it.
My serious finger-tips need fun.
My all time favorite touchy things involve feet.
Clio is ashamed to tell us that her tooth is bleeding because she’s putting pressure on it.
A little Siamese cat’s head strong and fragile as a walnut shell cup edged into my hand.
I lie awake before getting up, enjoying the heavy weight of quilt & blanket across & on top of me.
It felt so good today not to be cold.
A smile is a form of heat. A smile is a poem.
I can still hold things—like a square bar of soap. I smell its spicy smell and feel its jabbing angles.
Folded tight in Clio’s small arms I smell the smell of baby again, my face against her under-arm and chest.
I chuck my own chin.
My hands over Clio’s joined hands as I read her Shivers.
Benjamin rubs the stone above his stove; I rub it too.
Oatmeal is wet and dry at the same time. No matter how slick on the outside there’s always a little dryness within.
The steering wheel has turned into a joy-stick!
I hold & cut a chunk of Clio’s wet dark brown hair juicy as meat.
Now I’m coming to know every day the touch of other people’s houses, floors, walls, windows.
When eyes are tired it is as if small hillocks of sand are packed under the eyelids.
For a moment this morning the bed was a sheath and I was completely at ease & joyously comfortable.
I go all around the garden of Clio’s palm with my index finger & one step two steps three steps & jump into her armpit. Then, lifting my large hand with her small hand, she does the same to me.
I drain ginger ale from Marina's new laptop. I load Clio in my arms & against my breast & under my chin and listen to John Cayley & Alan Sondheim & Brian Kim Stefans & Stephanie Strickland.
When Clio's hair works with gravity it is silky & shiny. When I puff it up with my hand it is a tangled brown bush, rich & malleable.
No children to touch today.
A palpable faltering.
No time for touch today.
Swaddling is a funny word.
I hold a pizza box again.
My touchpad gave up & was replaced. Non-functioning parts take heed.
The tips of my fingers feel pulled & taut as if I have bitten them too much.
All of us need to be soothed & held.
I washed the car, for the first time, with a new sponge. It was a real sponge sponge, yellowy & buff.
Clio mashes her face against mine, and every other part of her too. This has been going on for 7 years.
Touched accidentally by a man's hand today.
Every few seconds the fan at the meeting blew my hair against my face; every few seconds I brushed it away.
Glancing touches, mainly on the hand.
No time to remember touch.
Sometimes looking in someone's eyes is almost a touch.
Trundling through snow.
Very little pain today; wonderful sleep.
Almost a nun's kiss for Jim.
Close hug with Clio for a long time.
I push Clio on the swing in Harry’s Park.
I love the feel of the car under my hands.
Miraculously my hands & feet are not nearly so sore now.
I spoke about touch to my class today.
Wiggled Clio’s loose teeth at her request. Surprised to find lower one looser than longstandingly loose upper front.
This laptop is baking my innards.
I wash my hands before I touch the artists’ books Laurie has gathered on a cart for me in the RISD Library.
Maybe I will have green fingers in Mount Pleasant.
I feel an ease, excitement, incipience.
Little cellphones set on vibrate go off all over my body or at its extremities. Should I worry?
I am afraid to stand with closed eyes in the Touch Gallery but I do it anyway. I run my hands all over the sculptures & hear someone say: Here is where the children can touch the art.
In the mall Clio says seeing happy families makes her feel bad. I hug her as close as I can and tell her: Maybe someone sees that mama hugging her child and thinks how lucky they are.
Today that feeling of not being able to rip my clothes off fast enough!
The rain wrapped me in a great wet burrito with salsa & guacamole.
A layer of cold tucked inside my clothes today.
Landing strips down two inches of leg as someone brushes temporarily close.
Sometimes there are too many bumps; each one seems unbearable.
Other days I fit perfectly into my own body.
Is the all-over layer of unease just beneath the flesh caused by not doing what one feels one should be doing a form of touch?
I hugged someone today.
Silence is like a sponge ball around me, the sounds of my childhood bristling on its curve.
Wit is a form of touch.
A tall gangly child is easier to carry on your back than a short chunky child.
You can walk right into a human body on your fingers.
Thank God for the blessing of my children’s hands, secure in mine, curled against my neck, cool against my face.
Speaking about touch is a weak form of touch. I am touched by my students with their incandescent faces. They look much younger close up. Because I am shortsighted I usually see them as they will look in 10 or 15 years. Close up they blaze.
Weight is more familiar to me than touch.
To hold someone is better than talk.
In The Gap trying on pants—I think of Frank O’Hara.
Sarah asks if she can give me a hug.
27 years cleaning apartments, not wanting anymore to touch other people’s accumulated dirt.
Angie rubs my neck as she talks to someone else.
I prop my face with my hand, close my eyes, & listen to poetry.
Lifting boxes again.
Licking ice-cream walking along a city street is still a lot of fun—sexual.
Thom’s friendly warm hand surprises me.
Clio’s cool strong little hand in mine.
Clio’s soft cheek.
Sometimes being in space is like being inside a great hair-lined gullet—or an aquarium waving with furry labia.
I say goodbye to this apartment & all apartments in this final going over of all its surfaces.
Someone was about to cry yesterday & I touched her.
Smiles all around me today: for a while I forgot about smiling.
I turned the lock on my last rental apartment today.
To lay myself out on my own bed at long last is such a delight.
Today I lay down when I wasn’t tired.
The skin around my fingernails has become very easy to bite because of all the cleaning I’ve been doing.
Clio’s soft face like melting ice-cream under my draped palm this morning in bed. Then tonight I threw her on the bed & threw her on the bed & threw her on the bed. That girl can laugh.
Wrapping my hand around Clio’s juicy little fingers; squeezing: My arm stretched back between the front seats to her corner seat in the back.
Clio felt something like Teddy’s hand poking or patting her as we sat on the couch; I’m jittery too in the new house.
My hands are tired carrying. They want to be held. I fold them together.
I had very little to carry today except age. I didn’t feel light.
My fingers & wrists never mended from a fall 18 months ago.
Sometimes when I’m tucked into bed I feel like an old woman or a great big baby.
I touch Marina’s soft hair.
Scooping the kitten’s poop. Why have I signed up for this now that I am done with baby poop?
Clio’s hand on my face this morning, her finger on my eyebrow, her finger & thumb at my eyelid, plucking. Her hair hanging down, brushing my forearm.
Can you tuck yourself into an attitude as you would into a bed? Tucking yourself into a bed is not so easy mind you.
Sometimes ice-cream is as good as it once was.
Wet grass dowsing my shoe this morning: wished for bare feet.
This laptop is broiling my thighs.
I don’t feel good today.
Commencement: a prime opportunity to examine the backs of people’s heads. I feel the sun on my bald spot & want to put on my silly cap.
I am getting much better at hugs.
Kevin writes, “In some of my works there are no words for the eyes to read so the hands and finger tips must read the poem.”
In Stop & Shop, I mistakenly follow a sign at the express lane & a man pushes in front of me. In my life I have seen little gallantry or even kindness from men, except in stories/movies written by men.
A sudden burst of rain & lightning at 11pm after an oppressively hot day. Or was it the neighbor’s sprinkler & yard light?
I enjoyed a cold waterfall on my wrists, from the faucet.
I suppose the strangest thing I touched today was clumps of my own pubic hair, trimming. I'm naïve about pubic hair fashions.
The cat is a real little beanie, completely relaxed and flexible in the hands.
I feel fine.
This morning being in bed was like being inside a cool ripe avocado, in parts even a mango.
Awkward hug for Laura.
I don’t really want to touch the cat.
Night after night I get enough sleep; it’s strange.
Sleep is just next door and I open the door.
All’s dandy—and then finer than dandy with another human body tucked into yours.
Clio and I play All Around the Garden on the way back from Logan Airport on the Bonanza Bus. I still say looking for a farthing. Strange word for Clio.
I prepare for my journey by selectively stripping myself of hair.
Someone reached out & touched me.
I took an extra blanket from an empty room at Orono.
Routine is a form of touch, a daily Braille.
Too self-conscious for touch.
I saw a kind guy interacting with kids. One laid her head on his shoulder.
For the first time in my life my hands are tired from driving.
I am learning to handle the little cat.
Taste is like touch; my breakfast of strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe had great tongue & throat texture.
I’m getting better at hugging.
Crushed a centipede with my shoe.
My house holds me.
I poke a crumbling patch of wood in the discolored floorboards: Wet or dry rot?
I handle my books again.
The cat ran away & hid when he saw me in protective suit & mask & goggles.
Blisters on the soles of my feet from walking 6 miles. A woman touched me for money.
Clio’s strong little hand in mine again. The kitten, Clio and I lie together on the bed.
I carry the kitten in its box, with Clio, on 4 buses to and from the vets.
The weight of a child is a sweet weight, but what a weight.
Before the visitors arrive, I wash the house down with sunshine.
His eyes must have touched me; I made my body swerve & his words made me feel good; a centimeter of his fingers touched or almost touched a centimeter of mine, twice.
A flat yellow metal box is a discreet place for Clayt to keep two funny books he wrote.
Turned the key on my house and went to Ireland.
Horse clopping down the street in Galway with 4 inches of slobber coursing from its mouth. Couldn’t help thinking where
I wouldn’t like it to land.
No embrace quite like the embrace of mother & child when lost child is found.
Family kisses & hugs.
Clio’s small strong cool hand in mine.
Lifting a pint of Guinness in Myos. Very pleasant. Men at the bar singing A Fairytale of New York.
I only half-understand the word travel, which makes the load I carry twice as heavy.
Reading, after a long drought, is a most welcome form of touch.
I find joy in precise diction—and surprise.
The frets on ferns rib the eyes. Desperately wanting to be touched.
The back of your neck is broad under my hand.
We play Hangman: I read Conor’s mind.
Clive Barnes herds his big flock of sound through his larynx & fingers & strings. I’m thinking: A man who can do that has got to be a good lover. Or is that the myth that destroyed so many musicians’ wives?
Derek the Bus Éireann driver from Cabra has a permanent bruise on his forehead. He tells me about relocating to Belmullet & how one Christmas Eve a girl pulled the luggage door down on his fingers & he had to tear his nails off in order to get his hand free & how she went off never knowing what she had done.
Brief hug; approximate kiss.
Heavy backpack of food from Kinvara to Moy.
My hand in yours in Coole Park.
Tucked into the small plane to Inis Oirr.
Our conversation touches on sore points.
Clio’s hand fits well in mine.
Kate’s cat Yum-Yum, happy to see us back in Kinvara again, comes for a rub.
Reading at Mother Redcap’s—mike in one hand, pint in the other! Whoo!
Hugs for Mick & Timmy.
Clio’s hugs are sometimes too tight.
Touch his cheek. Rub his cheek. Kiss his cheek.