Body’s Prison Tattoo


The needle wriggles

up-and-down

like a worm

caught between the beak of a bird.

Blood mixes with forget-me-not blues;

purple riverlets

of desire filling the belly of swallows,

once thought to carry

the souls of sailors to heaven.

Now these wings

on the back of Body’s hands,

part bone, part feather,

pull inward—

this ain’t no lie


these fists can fly.

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