Albert Abonado


If I clap my hands together, Kumar the sound is equal
to all of the songs I have forgotten how to play,
but you, Kumar, when you put your hands
together you can bring a man back from the dead.
Kumar! your hands are made of miracles.
Do not take that for granted! The stroganoff
you scoop with your hands are now miraculous. Think
of all the people whose fists will never become
miracles while you pull seven bullets from a man
and set each one above you, a constellation you yanked
from a stranger’s lungs, snapping that person out
of darkness. What I use to conceal secrets, pinto beans,
the remains of a mummified squirrel, is not a miracle, Kumar,
but I have placed my hand beneath a stapler to see
if I was born quicker than metal. Kumar, parts
of me cannot do what I want, will not bend
the light in the direction I ask it. I do not call
what I do in the evening prayer but I want birds to ascend
from my palms each time I open them. Kumar,
I do not ask for much.

Albert Abonado is the Director of Adult Programs at Writers & Books. His work has appeared in Grist, New Ohio Review, Phantom Limb, Pleiades, Rattle, Sixth Finch, Tupelo Quarterly, and others. He is the author of the chapbook This is Superbook (H_NGM_N 2014). He lives in Rochester, NY with his wife and a hamster.