Today's poem is also a tattoo poem, and it is delivered to us by Aaron Anstett, the current Pikes Peak Poet Laureate!
In our bodies, we move uniformly.
No one owns a rickshaw tattoo
that actually clatters, hip to rib,
dust rising off the skin.
Across my torso,
print a flesh-tone color tattoo
of the word Invisibility.
Think of people
with their own names emblazoned
as if they might forget.
Call me anything:
alphabet braceleting one wrist.
Circling an ankle: many nations’ monuments.
She stepped from the bath like a giantess.
An old man’s arm tattoos,
green like just-before tornadoes
and the taste of anesthesia.
Once, nothing shone so brightly for him.
Tattoo two lungs
and I’ll return yearly
to have them darkened.
How bare the body looks
around the first one.
Best, for me, the flaming prophecies:
Stick Knife Here, Born to Die,
the ones redundant at autopsies:
stream of air bubbles
rising from the mermaid’s red mouth
on a drowned man’s palm.
Aaron Anstett's collections are Sustenance, No Accident (Nebraska Book Award and Balcones Poetry Prize), and Each Place the Body's. He's completing the last weeks of his term as the inaugural Pikes Peak Poet Laureate and lives in Colorado with his wife, Lesley, and children, Molly, Cooper, and Rachel.
Be sure to head over to Tattoosday and check out Aaron's Donne-inspired tattoo here.
Thanks to Aaron for sharing his tattoo with is here on Tattoosday!