Christopher Bernard Page 3

The hand over the heart,
holding it, barely,
as it fled
back to the stone
and the wind.

. . .

Oh where is the hand
that pulled your beauty
back into darkness
before your time
on the harsh and generous earth?

A young man's hand
was it, maybe,
where he stood on the street,
proud and scared,
wanting to prove himself~

jumpy, sweaty, too quick
to raise his weapon
and aim at the heart
of a woman stepping from a car~

is it too bitter to think
a hand that might
have loved you?

In memory of Neda Agha Soltan, who was killed on her way to a demonstration in Iran in protest of the 2009 presidential election.

Christopher Bernard is the author of the novel A Spy in the Ruins and founder and co-editor of Caveat Lector.