Rose Kelleher

Fingerprinting Mrs. Belyakova

Her hand uncurls, a spindly woodland lily
with five misshapen petals. And inside,
a stamen: a sixth finger, half an inch long,
pressed against the center of her palm,

no bigger than a baby’s pinky toe.
Damp, and unaccustomed to the light,
it seems to blink. She acts like it’s a crime
she’s guilty of, but no, it’s a third eye,

a little spaceman looking at the world
through a square, transparent fingernail,
a joey nestled in its mother’s pouch,
a hidden gesture meant for the unkind.

Rose Kelleher is the author of Bundle o' Tinder (Waywiser, 2008). Her poems and essays have appeared in many print and online journals, most recently New Walk and The Raintown Review.