Skin Deep

Skin Deep prose poem

Photo by doviende

Did you hear the one about the girls who went to get the Chinese ideogram
for ‘friendship’ tattooed on their arms and instead came away with the ideogram ‘unclean?’
There is an inherent danger in having your body indelibly embossed in a language you don’t understand.
I don’t believe in any picture strongly enough to have it etched into my skin.
I don’t even trust my moles that much, wondering how much it would cost
to have a team of masseuses with extreme fine-motor skills tour across my epidermis
with water-based markers and run the variations dot-to-dot to find out
if God might have had a little joke at my expense and marked me with the sign of the knife and fork,
an emblem I’ve well lived up to, as my waistline has expanded over the years.
In this vein there’s the blind panhandler I sometimes encounter on the bus
with his dog and his cardboard sign asking for money, his reek of fresh cigarette smoke,
and abundant ink all over his arms. There are pictures and slogans and I can’t decide
if he is foolish or trusting or maybe knows the tattoo artist
or perhaps is aware of a cosmic mechanism that would dole out severe injury
to someone willing to accept charitable money in exchange for the humiliation of a disabled person.

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a poet from Seattle Washington USA. His poetry has appeared in print in publications such as Bellowing Ark, Point Nopoint, and most recently in Contraposition magazine. When not writing poetry he is a Human Resources professional, a repentant glutton, and a novelist specializing in the weird-fiction genre.
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