Mark of the Tattoo

My son the tattoo artist

two delicate piercings on his face

no tattoos

soft brown hair

falls on his shoulder

where a geisha is painted

In such fine detail

the most detail he tells me

of all of his tattoos

this one in colors still brilliant

No branding here

no scarification

just pen and ink

a portrait now a poem

etched on skin

by tattoo artist

my next of kin

The newest one is on his palm

still healing

it is of aum

he talks of pain

of blood letting too

a religious experience for him

and now for you

he tells me of puja

of Ganesh

I see


mark of tattoo

Mark of the Tattoo

5 thoughts on “Mark of the Tattoo

  1. Wonderful wordplay in the title, Jane, the almost-repetition in the final line, and the geisha tattoo sounds beautiful. I love the lines:

    ‘just pen and ink
    a portrait now a poem
    etched on skin’.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As somebody already said, tattoos really feel addictive, or can at least. You feel a very unique kind of release, understanding, pain and likewise a connection with whoever is tattooing you.
    I really enjoyed reading the poem, I like it because I appreciate the way in which you listened to this tale and translated it for us via poetry.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. sanaarizvi says:

    This is gorgeously written ❤️ Especially love this in particular:

    “just pen and ink
    a portrait now a poem
    etched on skin.”


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