Poems of Place & Displacement

Got Any New Tattoos?

      For Alyssa

He asks upon telling him she visited this weekend
That I spent the day with her at the body piercing shop
Before she returned out of state to her tattoo apprenticeship
Out of this small town state familiarity of child molestation
Suicide attempts and self-mutilation where self-loathing
Is a cocktail mixed with the toxic blood of torn membranes
And stomachs are violently pumped like a rapist's victim

He explains there are other careers she could have gotten into
Knowing full well how this career got into her how art
At the tip of a needle piercing the skin scabs over to heal
Extreme ink etching permanent symbols in an impermanent life

She could have been a beautician cutting and coloring hair
In Hollywood's latest plastic fashion fad instead of cutting
And coloring her own natural skin, could have been glorified
For plastering war paint on Vanity's fair faces instead of
Injecting ink over her ovaries, tribal war symbols representing
The reality show of her life where armies continually march
Across her psyche as she declares war on her own battlefield

Where her body's nine piercings can't bring to surface the pain
Of her plunging oppressor who could have gotten into another
Career other than this one this tattoo-less symbol of a man who
Wears a tie to the workplace and loosens it before his work begins

Photo Credit:US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Copyright 2007, Joe Gouveia

Joe Gouveia is a Poet and Journalist who lives and writes on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He hosts the weekly radio program, "The Poets Corner", on Provincetown radio www.WOMR.org every Thursday at 12:45pm. He is an MFA in Poetry candidate at New England College.

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