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Hands

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Kaylee's always been good with her hands.
From the first time she touched an engine
she knew how to make it run true.
She used to picture life among the stars,
but not this experience of being held,
this cobbled-together family.

Weren't nothing wrong with her own family:
just, on that dusty rock, nothing for her hands
to grip, and when she held
the fan belt of her first engine
her mama looked sadly up at the stars
and told her dreams ought to come true.

Serenity's a good ship, it's true
though Kaylee never figured to find family
out there in the black among the stars.
She just wanted to use her hands,
learn the ways of this sweet engine
and help the ship feel cradled, held

by someone who knew she mattered. Held
together with wire she still flew true.
Once Inara said Kaylee was the engine
(she blushed to think it) of their family,
the one who made connections, hands
to hearts and hearts to the bright stars.

Kaylee used to imagine the cold stars,
the vast blackness, her heart held
in the palms of someone's capable hands.
She never figured on the stories being true
but it turns out the way to make a family
is to let love be your engine

and fly where you didn't think your engine
could go: the outer rim, the furthest stars
of sorrow and desire. And if your family
was real, the knots that held
would keep you together, bonds as true
as the calluses on Kaylee's smudged hands.

The engine room is where Kaylee feels held.
Out here in the stars, dreams do come true:
she builds family with her own strong hands.