Tattoo on the Arm

It is a dementia of the skin, aged
and forgetting its survival skills,
with those few tattooed letters of
family dissolving by the Efudix.

We called it ‘prison text’ – imagining
this meaningful – but he was
illiterate in an art of that ink, and his
own scrawl should have warned.

Mistakes are ours but atrophying
is the last new discovery. Mine will
scar, but she is in the disappearing
act deeper than a surface of flesh.

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