Posts Tagged: Explanation for Why We Have Fingerprints

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IR Online Poetry: “Explanation for Why We Have Fingerprints” by Sage Yockelson

“Explanation for Why We Have Fingerprints

by Sage Yockelson

you were born and they named you
Touch. your fingers cracked
eggs into bowls and you wondered,
Is this tragedy? but
the destruction of beauty
is an act of beauty. please wield this
fact like the knife that hides in your boot. it’s enough
to be wanted like an atmosphere wants to
weigh heavy on shoulders. enough to look
for your name dripped into someone else’s
palms. like everyone else, this is your first forever.
don’t worry. the destruction of a forever
is necessarily a violence but a violence
is not necessarily tragic. even rust is a thing
that grows. it flakes against your fingertips
and this, too, is compromise. you will cry
because this is the way you were built
and you were built to meet metal halfway.
so pull the knife out
of your boot and start scraping
the rust away. confess
that you have no idea what it means
to rebuild. you are young and
you have never said Yes yes but you have
felt like it. so what? you have a tongue
to cup your slippery name. two hands
to separate who you are
from who you want to be.


Sage Yockelson is a queer undergraduate creative writing and film student who lives in California (mostly) and New York (sometimes). They have previously had work published in The Ignatian, The Tishman Review, and Bad Movies Magazine, as well as online in FreezeRay Poetry.