The Blue Tattoo

English/Shakespearean sonnet, written in 1998.

To look upon the blue tattoo is grief;
It scars the skin I once considered mine,
And there the name that brands her as a thief
Carves through the skin as serpents intertwine,
And lay in wait to rot the fragile youth
That played upon her lips ’til time won out.
The blue tattoo smiles its repugnant truth
And voices lies in its redeeming shout.
To cover ears is nothing but delay.
To cover eyes is to wait in the dark
For light to seep through cracks and bring the day,
To blunt the edge ’til daylight burns less sharp,
To taste sweet air while holding one’s own breath.
To look upon the blue tattoo is death.