Sometimes, by chance, because I have hot hands,
I hold the hands of old women, so thin and papery and cold,
as if you can feel life ebbing away already.
Dying takes a very long time for some.
Because of embarrassment, it is always too short a hold
but I would like my heat to course into them,
loosen their joints, unbind their muscles,
so they don’t have to hunker down like threatened soldiers.
I would like to warm them like spring sunshine
so they can unclench their jaws
and breathe, perhaps sigh, and maybe even
love a little with their newly-warmed broken hearts.