The fingers of your hand
You teach me Spanish, using the fingers of your hand: I call out the names in English, starting with the thumb. Pulgar, you say, means to be powerful, able. I feel your love as pressure in my chest, a heaviness of pelvis. Not from pulga, or flea, this is false myth-making. My eyes widen: I want you to squash me like a flea, between finger and thumb. Dedo indice, you stare pointedly, my breath falters. I dare you to disagree. With a shy smile I hold my middle finger, Dedo cordial, from corazón, or heart. A central chord strikes through me, vibrations as we talk. I swallow your passion for language, words absorbed to my tips. Ring digit next, Dedo anular. I wind a strand of darkest hair, around the fourth finger of my left hand. Close my eyes. Imagine you kneeling before me. Leaving dedo meñique: from the Portuguese menino, or niño from the Spanish, meaning boy. I link pinky fingers. Colour rises in my cheeks. As I am with you, little one. So, I am hooked, our meeting is near. I give my heart gladly, to weigh against your own. Dedos de la mano: be careful to state your meaning, the feet fingers are dedos too! My toes curl with recognition, you have me eating out of your palm of your hand.
Eliot North is a writer, doctor and educator who lives and works between the North East of the UK and Valencia, Spain. She won the EuroStemCell Imaginative Non-Fiction Poetry Competition in 2013 and was commended for the Hippocrates Poetry Prize 2014. Eliot was also commended for the National Poetry Competition 2014 with her poem The Crab Man, which she made into a Filmpoem with artist and filmmaker Alastair Cook in 2015. She writes prose and poetry and has been published in: Firewords Quarterly, Structo, Black Bough, Acumen, and Ink Sweat & Tears. Her short story This Skin Doesn’t Fit Me Any More was also published in the Best British Short Stories 2017 by Salt Publishing. Eliot was selected as a poet/writer for the Djerassi Resident Artist Programme: Scientific Delirium Madness, in 2018. She carved two poems into wood whilst she was a resident, which were installed on the Djerassi property, as well as writing essays and poems on the themes of medical science, nature, identity and creativity. Since returning from California she has left her regular clinical medical post to concentrate on writing in Spain and facilitating creative writing workshops for health care professionals in the UK.