Take Hold

by Zainab Ismail

Palmfuls of chromosomes, the possibility of choices.
My hands can help and harm in a sea of choices.

Some chromosomes look like sycamores up close,
melting off blue-bellied trees.
Exclamation marks for many voices
branching bottomless to broadcast a plea.

Spectral pirouettes, speckled silhouettes, 
burning butterflies in my body,
teardrops, glaciers, empty and filled spaces.
I feel at sea,
drifting apart from every ponderous statistic,
every metamorphosis,
the optic lens seeing a thinning filigree,

observing heartache from a distance. 
Though footsteps root my soles downward to home, 
my soul collapses 
under reefs of little prayers,
sometimes my solitary role
of weightless grief, fragility,

seeking a more
compassionate connection to the planet,
learning from the way we ran it,
anchored to it as trustees —
so diagrammatic,
sycamores in our hands, blessed with the capability
to take hold of our delicate destiny.