Tattoos for David
Tattooed coins on my eyelids & a snake on my tongue.
Tattooed a hand on my hand & a hand on my hip.
Tattooed words on my knuckles.
Tattooed the idea of summer to my ear,
placed my ear to the sea & heard the city.
Tattooed a portrait of the Virgin Mary on my chest.
Tattooed epic tattoo poetry on my ass.
Tattooed a cup in my hand.
Tattooed a chain link fence & a dog in the yard.
Tattooed an image of California to my memory.
Tattooed the alphabet between my toes.
Tattooed a braid in my hair.
Tattooed poetry on my brain.
Tattooed a Thursday on my Friday.
Tattooed an empty stool at the bar.
Tattooed an angel over my headboard.
Tattooed sunglasses to lose in the car,
a song to whistle during a traffic jam.
Tattooed mass discontent & public hysteria to my teeth.
Tattooed a playground to my feet.
Tattooed a new drink to refill my empty glass.
Tattooed a new, and better, America.
Tattooed happiness to my face.
Tattooed a bruise on top of a bruise.
Tattooed a skull on my skull.
Tattooed a broken record on the floor.
Tattooed the sun across your face.
Tattooed your memory to my forgetfulness.
Tattooed a heart over a scar.
Tattooed crow's feet on my eyes.
Tattooed birds on the palms of my hands,
so when I reach for you there is a flutter, a flapping.
Tattooed freedom to the lines in my forehead.
Tattooed loving & happiness where
there had been self-loathing & hatred.
Tattooed a song that came out all wrong.
step inside today's overheard
conversation your name circled
in the classifieds & my livelihood tied
to cell phone reception
kick off your shoes
bare feet cold cement I need somewhere
to place my boxes broken dishware
cold ceramic on cold cement you say
beggars can't be choosers but I still
don't have anywhere to live
I am at the bar right now alone nobody knows
this What's going to happen
when he goes broke buying you nice things?
I wouldn't know a nice thing
if it pecked out my eyes trick shot bottom
I haven't had whiskey in months
I want I want I want
to go home but right now
I don't know where that is using calendar pages
as scrap paper any measurement of time
go ahead change the month flip the page
add another digit to the year nothing's changed
more bodies are coming in the door crowding out
my sunlight happy hour dollar-fifty bottles
what day is it? Tuesday?
each year I get older things become less
certain this isn't how
I imagined it would be