She liked to scan her hands in the old machine
and print out three copies of her left hand, three copies of her right.
Usually she made mistakes and had to print out more.
With each wasted piece of paper, she said a little prayer.
As the strip of light ran from left to right and right to left,
she averted her eyes, watching the light move at all places but the source.
The machine made zurr, zurr noises she tried to imitate,
but she sounded like a buzzing cat, and she hated cats.
She had once tried to scan a cat. She never tried again.
She took photographs of her scans and smoked chemicals
as she watched them appear in the darkness of red light.
There was her right hand, holding an image of her left hand.
She hung them up in no specific order and rearranged them every two weeks.
Once she forgot to, and she sat in the dark until she figured out why.
Sometimes she tossed out a few photographs
when she had no room left on her clothes lines,
but mostly she looked at them. Then at her hands.
When the red light was off, she could not see them,
and this made her sad, panicky, and slightly hungry.
She once tried to glue her palms together with Elmer’s glue.
She waited patiently until the whiteness hardened clear,
and then she tried to pull her palms apart. Too easy.
She peeled off the residue, bit by bit, like foil off of a gum wrap,
until she stood in a pile of glue bits.
Then she scanned her hands and took photographs of the scans.
When the photographs developed, she noticed glue left on her pinky.
She stomped in the pile of residue and threw the photographs in the trash.
She picked at her pinky until the red light faded.
Then she sat in the dark, making zurr, zurr noises.