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is it possible to be tattooed by someone’s soul?

vintage-gay-underwear-photo

Is it possible
to be tattooed
by someone’s soul?

Only with eyes closed
can I trace outlines,
a slight raise on my unmarked skin
(even in creases: inner elbows,
between fingers and toes).
The designs always familiar
but too abstract to identify.

I mean, can one be widowed
by the living?

Carting the blank stone
from days into dreams
toward an open grave
in my front and back yards,
basement, bathtub.
Ever eluded by the body,
not the scent.

And if there is someone else one day,
will he sense this presence?

The fine slip beneath
my rumpled clothes.
The railing I reach for
even on shallow stairs.

Will you, Christopher,
be the mosquito netting
draping my honeymoon bed,
swaying almost imperceptibly in the dark
but allowing in breezes
that comb the hairs on my arms,
legs, chest?



Image: 1930s, photographer/sitter unknown
via DCwooten/flickr
Text: The Slip, Michael Montlack
Poem published in Ganymede, Issue 5, Oct. 2009

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4 Comments

  1. Nathan Hanford

    I love this so incredibly.

    Posted September 12, 2010 at 10:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Roger Walker

    Thank you so much. It is easy to become estranged from love and beauty. Your pages remind me.

    Posted February 8, 2012 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  3. Roger, thank you for the kind words. I’m so glad this page is still being discovered 3+ years after I published it. The poem by Montlack deserves it. – kenneth

    Posted February 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Permalink
  4. I love this post, this poem, well in fact I love this tumblr, by the way how can I “like” this post or subscribe to this tumblr? (sorry for my ignorance, I’m new on tumblr). Thank you for having this incredible tumblr.

    Posted July 11, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

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