a brief story about hands

I woke to find
my hands
humming in the dark

hands I said
what have you done?
where did you creep?
what did you plunder?

my hands did not answer
simply lay
upon the sheets still
dreaming perhaps

of a great hand-shaped cloud
travelling steadily
onwards deep into the night

hands I cried
what terrible thing have you
what forbidden
and was afraid to switch
on the light

not knowing if I would
find my hands
blackened with bees
or breathing some cold song
or worse
no longer even



Read the rest of Overland 242

If you enjoyed this piece, buy the issue

Or subscribe and receive
four brilliant issues for a year

Debbie Lim

Debbie Lim lives in Sydney. Her poems have appeared regularly in the Best Australian Poems series (Black Inc.) and various anthologies including Contemporary Asian Australian Poets (Puncher & Wattmann). Her chapbook is Beastly Eye (Vagabond Press).

More by Debbie Lim ›

Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places.

If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate.

Related articles & Essays