Spring 1999 • Vol. XXI No. 2 Poetry |

To Grasp the Nettle

Empty your hands. Shake off even the sweat of memory, the way they burned to find the cool indented shell of flesh at the base of her spine, how they cupped themselves to hold her head, feeling the weight and bones of it, every angle of her face and the curve of each earlobe finding its place in your palm or at your fingertips, flesh whispering to flesh in its own dialect; or the way one of them would creep through the breathlessness of sleep—the sheer unlikely fact of being there, and there when the light came back—to come to rest on a breast or claim a hand or settle a warm spot on her belly or between stilled thighs. Shake it all off: for as long as they bear the faintest trace of such hard evidence against you, your hands will not be steady and the thing will sting you.

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.
Eamon Grennan has published numerous volumes of poetry including There Now (2016); Out of Sight: New and Selected Poems (2010); Matter of Fact (2008); Relations: New and Selected Poems (1998); and others.

Read More

Trees Abiding

By Eamon Grennan

Empty your hands. Shake off even the sweat of memory, the way they burned to find the cool indented shell of flesh at the base of her spine, how they […]

Ah Yes

By Eamon Grennan

Empty your hands. Shake off even the sweat of memory, the way they burned to find the cool indented shell of flesh at the base of her spine, how they […]

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.