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"Tell Me a Tattoo Story": a poem by James Collins

They say the earth’s waters are connected in a cardiac energy

Cleansing our fates, those emerald lakes, dusk’s crimson mists

One and the same.

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                                                            The same I say,

                                                                           Of ink.


Show me

This moon pocked landscape

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Tilt beneath cracked diodes.


                                                         Show me

                                                         The clear portolas wisely spread

                                                         Along the silent meadows of your hands

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And in a press for sentiment to overwhelm skin

A hint of dye will bleed through, below the maps

Your veins scrawl, a hint of dye has come in.


                                                     So know that,

                Forever, I will stare into the smallest thing,

                                                      Add color to the smallest thing,

                                                      And taste blood in every ink.