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I’d ask about the Death Mark,
then every other tattoo
you’ve gotten since the last time
I saw you naked.
And I’d want to hear all the stories
even the ones from before.
I’d tell you about
the tattoos I want to get
and about the birthday mark
on my left leg that I didn’t know
I had because I have never been
as tan as I got this summer
and I’d remind you of a scar
on the same leg, perhaps you’ve forgotten.
We could talk about
the scars I haven’t gotten
and any of yours
that are new.
Finally, I’d stop undressing
you with my eyes and
begin undressing you
with my hands.
We’d stop just short
of going all the way
because that’s how I want
it to be.

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places i haven’t been back to

like the tattoo
on your left arm
the one sort of about me
but many of them are

like when we walked
to that party
but never went in
because i was scared

and accidentally on purpose
and i wished you would have
grabbed my hand
spun me around in circles

the r rated movie
that you couldn’t see
because you were 16
birthday hadn’t happened

when i skipped science
and we went to dinner
took the bus
and you turned 17

in front of Chevys
when you asked
and i said yes
it wasn’t a surprise

*In response to City.

Were you drunk?

You’ve got the death mark on your arm
right next to that scar that you swear did no harm.
I hate it.
I love it.
It adds to your imperfect charm.

But you’re afraid of snakes
and so that awful tattoo breaks
my heart in pieces.
It never ceases
to bother me that you’re fake.

*Note: I’m not totally feeling this one, but I am determined to finish this Intro to Poetry course and to attempt all the assignments. I think it’s good to stretch yourself as a writer sometimes, even if you don’t love the results.

Hey Jude and a Tattoo

We used to walk on eggshells around each other,
but I think we’re learning that our footsteps can be a little heavier.
If it’s trust we’re building
with the bricks from your wall,
then we’ll turn my paper one
into a kite, like sparrows’ wings.
We’ll fly it on the beach someday
and our souls can make love in the ocean.
Remember the sand
that got everywhere we didn’t want it to go?
On days when it’s easy,
I forget why it was ever difficult.
Tell me a story
and I’ll sing you a song.
It’s been too long since we left our hearts open.
Say the word and I’m yours.

A. A. Milne and a Fish Bone

I’ll always remember:

Our last kiss, six weeks broken up;
Brick walls, for months at least.

The love that your eyes give away,
and the occasional laugh you can’t hold back.

“Do you think we’ll ever be friends?” I ask.
You reply “I hope so.”

Your everyone else voice
and how it softens after a few minutes.

Your smile, a little sad,
as our sons wave and call out “Bye Daddy.”

The promises on your left arm
and the ones you wrote on my heart.