A One Handed Poem – Gwil James Thomas

Last night, after I’d cooked the pot of chilli
I managed to slice my left hand wide open
crushing an empty tomato can of all things –
as two bloody flaps of skin dangled
like my hand had grown a mouth
and tonight with the hand bandaged up
and glued back together –
I’ve had to learn a few things in switch,
there’s nothing to drink,
the cheap and strong Spanish painkillers
have run out,
nobody is coming back through that door now
and time is passing slowly on this sultry night
like something’s frozen in its mechanism –
as it did when I was back in school,
or working shifts cleaning aeroplanes
from dawn to dusk/dusk to dawn.

Maybe I’ve become too accustomed to the feeling
that the years are slipping through my hands
like I’m cupping water?

Fuck it,
all I can do is roll with it and adapt
as one hand throbs and the other types this –
surprised that it’s got this far
like it’s fighting for some
strange sensation of control and belonging
in this dog eat dog world,
just like the rest of me.