The Tattoo

I’ve always wanted a tattoo
a miniature cougar, green eyes
and bright red tongue
or a rose of carmine
dressed with dew.

First it was my mother,
Oh you’ll spoil your body.
Then my fear
of the men who stood outside
the tattoo places, anchors, snakes,
and wearing leather gloves
without fingers.

Last year I thought of AIDS
and needles and death.
My cougar disappeared into the brush
my roses withered.

Yesterday I passed Larry’s Tattoo Parlor
the cougar’s eyes glistened again
I stopped and bought a tissue picture
like those transfers we’d use
to put Captain Midnight on the backs of our hands. 

I held the paper cougar
on my shoulder, but I couldn’t see it.
I tried it on the pale skin of my left breast
my upper arm, thigh, calf of my right leg. 

Finally peeking out from my bra
undercover of my grass green blouse
my cougar crouches
ready to spring into the eyes
of my disbelieving friends.

Published in: Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 at 2:35 pm  Leave a Comment  

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