He tells the stories behind his tattoos
and when the stories end,
he touches her tattoos
he asks to hear her stories.
She smiles with every touch
but when the question comes,
she holds him in her arms
(he remembers his mother’s hug)
she lulls him back to sleep.
Later on, during the night
she will be cold.
She will ask for his clothes – he will give them to her.
But later on, during that night
she will again be cold.
And no hug or flame will keep her warm
and he will rip his flesh to save her.
The bones, naked, will break of shame
the heart will explode with anger.
She has now sewn his skin on her skin.
His tattoos have met hers;
creating new tattoos as inks combine.
The new tattoos lull her to sleep.
She won’t be needing the blanket tonight.
© Alex Antonopoulos
This poem has been included in the MASTER'S IN CREATIVE WRITING ANTHOLOGY 2018 (published by the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education).
Image from: http://illusion.scene360.com/art/49005/tattoo-art-painting/