In this poem, Laura McCullough writes of new Dads and tattoos, forging connections between different kinds of permanence.
His brother gives him money for a tat, says,
Nothing’s sacred any more, Little Bro. What he doesn’t say is:
The body is so fragile always was, always was; sometimes
one look is all it takes, a touch, stroke of chord,
dissonant and true, and the bones shift like someone punched you.
Rick wants to be better, doesn’t know how. For big brother.
For her. For that baby they made, someone says is his.
Whatever it takes, he thinks, whatever, but he’s caught
between two things, can’t decide how to proceed,
gets two tats instead: Luxx and Cyborg, one on each bicep,
fills his sleeves; nothing’s sacred: between the fingers and toes,
vines curl and weave; he says, They’re like notes to that song
always playing in my head. Now backs of calves are all that’s left,
thinks, baby names? But can’t imagine what that means.
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Photo by RTD Photography /Flickr