Thursday, August 16, 2007

Ink into Skin

the security guards at the airport
are all whispering about my tattoo
they ask me how long it took,
if it’s new, if it’s finished

at each security checkpoint
as I slip off my shoes,
my belt, as I unbotton
my blouse and lay back
on the conveyor belt,

they open my chest
and ask me about the bite
marks on the inside
of my ribcage, still

obsessed with my tattoo,
where did I get the idea,
in what city did it occur

they lift their pant legs,
their hems, to show me
their own tattoos --
hairy dragons curling up calves,
butterflies clinging to biceps

they sink their fingers into
the curl of my intestines,
divining my future, they pull
everything out, set it down gently
in the plastic trays

and tell me how beautiful it is,
my tattoo, how it looks like
a real knife and how it
calls to them, each of them,
with a thready, tender song


Michael said...


You've done it again! This is another of your creations grabs you and pulls you into it with no way to escape until it's done.

Talia said...

(gasp) That is a poem!

When I read something like this, I think to myself, how can I write like this?

Christine said...

Hi Michael,

Thanks! I'm glad it worked for you.

Thank you, Talia. I'm happy you liked it.

One person recently commented that it might work better without the tattoo, but that's kind of the point of it!

greg rappleye said...

Oh, my!

Yes, that's a keeper!

Talia said...

I think the tatoo works. I think there is possibility for this to be a much longer many things there that could go into little plastic bins.

Valerie Loveland said...

I like this!

I think the tattoo should absolutely be in there.

Cheryl said...

Another vote to keep the tattoo. Great work, Christine!