Tattoo


i

"badges of summer"
my mother called them
(a reminder of the lesson
inspired by third-degree burns
that scars of the flesh
can be beautiful)
the scrapes and scratches
skinned knees
the only badges I ever received
never having been a brownie

so I collected them
showed them off
these trophies of achievement
as if they weren't mutilations
or perhaps as if mutilation
were something to be treasured


ii.

if someone were to ask me now
what I want to be when I grow up
I'd say - a canvas
I long to be painted
coloured on brushstrokes tickling me
not to become beautiful
but to have beauty
touch me intimately


iii.

touch the burn
nearest my wrist
the smoothest skin
you will ever know
the straightest lines on this curved body
all accidental


iv.

as the needle slips into skin
an awakening of sensation
mist lifting revealing
mountains of awareness
no memory of any other scar's becoming
compares to this feeling
on/under/inside me

shadings of ink
layer over meaning
flesh into darkness into light

this is a gift to myself
a scar freely chosen
an indelible painting
a beauty mark


v.

no reason really to sing praises for
scars
but under my skin
somehow they hum

who can guess when grace will come
with its strange and beautiful causes



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©Darusha Wehm  
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