inked pt. ii

less searing than a burn, sharper

than a scrape. the humming

needle seems to shave your

skin and bone and fat with

every drag across your tissue.


different colors hurt

with different resonance,

black thrumming

down your spine

and red screeching

against your inner ear.


a squirt of diluted soap

to clear the excess ink

gives the same relief as

blowing on a fresh scuff,

the cool air a surprise as

endorphins rush to quell

the pain, your head light

with chemical pleasure.

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