Ravi Shankar: Hand Dip

Quick as a fishhook flared into the water,
the way hip rubs against hip intentionally
unintentional on the dance floor, furtive
as a glance at someone else’s bank
statement, palmed like a cigarette in the rain,
the fingers exploratory, an insect’s antennae,
twitching to capture texture to populate
the hinterlands of a long winter night alone,
a maneuver not catalogued by the Kama Sutra,
but full of nervy frottage, pervy wattage,
a slip of skin on skin thin as a wine glass stem
and more circumspect, harder to unpack
than a tackle box and oft-deployed in subway
cars and murky bars – that’s the hand dip.

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