Vein Compensation

I'm eight minutes late
or too soon to be fashionable.
He's 75 so the difference evades him.

"Your handshake isn't as hard
as I'd expect," he informs me, disappointed.
"With your build and your trade and all."

I rub my dry palms, kept soft by gloves
requisite by asinine safety regs
designed to justify job titles.
"I hurt someone once," I confess
not telling him of the blue-collar dinosaur
much like himself
whose hand had been worn ragged
by decades pulling wrenches.
"It stayed with me."

We conduct our business.
There's a signature involved
resembling my own
though throughout the transaction
I dwell on my shown weakness:

Sometimes, with men
I've adjusted to folly.

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