‘Sweaty Hands’ by Jude Klaassen

I can’t feel the dish soap or the knives, I can’t hold onto plates.
All I can do is imagine fucking a pen against paper, like
11 year old genitals against couch pillows.

I can’t hold anything, I drop dishes, I drop pens,
I sit on top my fingertips
that tingle and hurt numb.

I can smell co-dependence off the couple at the bar,
but maybe it’s the dishwater still on the utensils, maybe the beer stained glasses.
In any case, she’s leaning – woman

get away from him he’s not leaning back.
The bathroom is upstairs, and the pain in the center
of your gut isn’t just a UTI.

At home she’s creating a dream state on top the length of my fingers
which I poured all my trauma into.
I’m already out and she’s pushing me further out with frantic droning about the seasons.

I tell her September’s shit, the pavement’s still lukewarm.
Wait for January, it’s iced for sweaty hands
that sweat numb everything.

I’m reconnecting with my hands in my mouth,
and down my pants sometimes.
It has a lot to do with balance.

We lie in bed, hands down our pants.
We kiss but not much else, we sleep naked,
but if we’re lucky we’ll pass out in our jeans, smelling like poutine and beer.

Instead, I tell her I can feel my muscles to my bones, which I can’t feel at all.
Instead before we sleep, I ask her to cradle my hands in hers
so I can feel her sweat instead of my own.


JUDE KLAASSEN is a Creative Writing student at Concordia University. They love sonnets and combining their enthusiasm for craft and writing into zines. They tend to write about bathrooms, bodies, and disconnect.

Copyright © 2019 by Jude Klaassen. All rights reserved.