Not with flowers or poems,
words on the wind, but a sharing of blood
The L is easy – puncture the skin
and down, draw the dyed thread through
and turn. He grits his teeth and
Tears well, magnify his eyes.
Next, I butcher an O into form,
four fish swimming in a broken ring,
lost sperm twitching and dizzy.
Then the V is swift
and clean, two lines become one,
my best work so far.
Finally the E,
the stain complete.
The unspoken signed in flesh.
H should be etched on the next knuckle,
the left hand yin
to his right hand yang,
but he stops me here,
clenches his fist and reads.
TATTOO was a prizewinner in the Oxo Gallery Art of Love competition