Teaching my Left Hand how to Right

You know how things go, tender one.

You believe you are here for the sole purpose of supporting your sister’s shit.

Maybe it’s because of natural order

that you were considered inferior

so mama trained you to compensate in appearance.

For the longest time, you remained soft, smooth, and clean

decked with the finest of gems,

shelled in the warmth of a velvet pocket,

only for the small price of following someone else’s directions,

holding someone’s extra weight,

and picking the less important tools.

After all, she wasn’t named right for no reason.

You know how things go, tender one.

You have already resigned yourself

to a life that is easy just because you obey the order of the universe.

It’s a credo you have long since memorized

while your sister, your other self, upsets the balance by

flipping the bird and deciding to collapse

for an indefinite vacation

leaving you all alone in this house

to fend for yourself

without any last note or technical know-how.

You know how things go, tender one.

Life shits for the weak,

but I just want you to know

you have always been strong even now.


Your limbs are capable to carry weight and open doors.

Maybe not as powerful as your sister’s

But strong enough to pick empty beer cans and unhinge a few locks.

You can still wash dishes, dust furniture, pull blinds

Purging this house of sheltered ghosts

As you let visitors in.


Don’t mistake your softness for weakness. Your naïveté for ignorance.

There will be nights when the curve of your palm will be home for someone else’s.

Someone whose hands are roughened by a day’s work, calloused by life’s grievances

will find solace in the cushion of your tenderness.

You will be this hand’s stronghold

as its bones melt within your embrace.


When dust gathers at the pads of your fingertips,

you will find yourself nimble to lift a pencil and shape clay.

Probably not yet adept enough to create a statement

but you can always start with tracing the shape of your name.

Learn its strokes, its intricacies,

your long loops, and abrupt stops.

They are imprints of your own making.

You are not your sister’s handwriting.

Maybe your sister forgot to tell you this:

Making lines is an intentional cut through time and space.

Keeping your existence entails work.

So grip.

Flex those tender muscles.

Do things that only those who are left alone can only do

instead of obsessing on how to be the next Ms. Right.

Because you can never fill in her gloves

but you can always choose not to be left behind.


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