Hands Holding Gloves

Evidently, someone has been looking at the portrait of Elizabeth next to me. Hands holding gloves.

The next action will say it all. This static second splits into a hundred possible futures. The gloves have been taken off, for action. Or for tenderness. Or the gloves are going on, for outdoor work, or a refined reception. Perhaps that glove in the right hand will thwack across an impertinent cheek, or be used for a caress.

Or maybe the hands are clinging to the emptiness in the gloves, the hands that once were there, squeezing them and missing the touch of another. The ghost of a hand. The absence of a love. The hand that slipped away.