For The Tattooed Man
By Sharmila Voorakkara
Because she broke your heart, Shannon’s a badge—
a seven-letter skidmark that scars up
across your chest, a flare of indelible script.
Between Death or Glory, and Mama, she rages,
scales the trellis of your rib cage;
her red hair swings down to bracket your ankles, whip
up the braid of your backbone, cuff your wrists. She keeps
you sleepless with her afterimage,
and each pinned and martyred limb aches for more.
Her memory wraps you like a vise.
How simple the pain that trails and graces
the length of your body. How it fans, blazes,
writes itself over in the blood’s tightening sighs,
bruises into wisdom you have no name for.