Bare Hands

Kirit Shergill

Published Spring 2020


Skeletal hands embrace thy corse body,

thou self-malice shall englut in thyself.

I whisper in your ear “drink thy toddy”,

I gently kiss thy sinfulness away.


Trembling hands, body unable to act.

I have thee now, thou verdure comes to waste.

“Ay, just unbend, I will keep thee intact”,

soon thou will forget the unholy taste.


Shivering hands touch thy pallid cheeks,

whence painful warmth spreads to thy tender veins,

a wicked euphoric sensation creeps,

thou wilt never escape my rigorous chains.


Unsinew’d hands, feed into my leasing;

“I will keep thee safe and keep thee living”.


Shergill is in their 2nd Year year of English Literature and Rhetoric. They have provided the following statement about their piece:

This is a piece where a person is bound to a twisted love forever; it is not with another person, rather it is with themselves. This love tells them lies, makes them sick, but it also keeps them safe because it is all they know. What they do not know, or choose to remain ignorant about, is that if they do not try to escape this love, they will die; a truly tragic story of mental illness. However, I would like whoever reads this to interpret it as they wish.

They have also provided the following glossary for the language utilised in this sonnet:

  • Corse: corpse
  • Englut: devour
  • Toddy: hot whiskey
  • Verdure: vitality, health
  • Unbend: relax
  • Pallid: pale
  • Unsinew’d: weak