When he asked where he might put his hand
I couldn’t help thinking
he wanted to pull a blade down my side
so I too could rise with Sunday
into an anointed wound.
I said what are you talking about.
He said I didn’t know his name.
His hands make fiddleheads
his fetal palms can’t stand
Before he liked to touch me
for almost normal reasons.
Thomas was a tactile learner, fiddling to figure out God’s things—
how did they work what they were made of?
Feeling, he was ejected from his classmates’ hair
the fabric of their arms and feet—
temples for the fire in a bowl
the face in a mask.
Active fingers, thriving like rivers
thrive through clay.
Reach out your hand and put it in my side
I removed my hand.
I have heard the accounts of His return.
That his hand wore the wound bloodless.
And His body, His body held no more
humanity than Thomas’ straining
tissue as long as it was there.
Not that He needed His mother or a woman’s touch.
When Jesus performed
His miracles we handled
the loaves the fish
the same marvelous way
Thomas used to handle everything.
He asks if he might put his hand into our wounds.
“We were saved
we are safe”
He says we won’t know our names
until his hand’s inside us.
We, the blessed, wonder where he would put them
were we not impermeable.