The Handshake

Hanno Hellerich

As we finally see each other face to face,
we are still two dimensional characters in each others’ worlds.
Our hands meet somewhere between a formal handshake of soon-to-be business partners and old friends
whose helpless awkwardness may even seem charming to observers.
But for the first time our skin comes into contact
and considering the palpable physical attraction towards one another,

an electrifying tingle works its way across my body
it is a familiar surprise, as it always is.
And as my grip tightens, I feel your damp, soft palm.
The lifeless cold of your skin stirs up confusion and contrasts the deliberate firm grip of my own-
your presence has migrated from the body to the mind.
your eyes get more narrow,  inquisitive and lose its innocence,
What of your features that first seemed delicate and alluring, a challenge to my self-composure,
become tinted with a vulgar haze.
I stop feeling comfortable and soon feel pressured to uphold this energy.
An image is created, a shadow is cast.
Slight dread soon takes the place of playful curiosity
and slowly it dawns on me-
I am being turned into an ideal!