in high school,
you had your forearm’s radiograph painted and restrained,
ribboned and lettered fetters around its twin bones.
what you chose to have woven into your frame goes:
we accept the love we think we deserve.
don’t carry these words as prophesy,
because i will still disburden my body of its plenty
and i will tarry endlessly to read you the poetry
you laced into my heart.
don’t wear these words as insight reaped
from an actual x-ray, because i say
i know your skin better than its stains.
i branded it with a sticky sweet sheen of me
and electromagnetically saw into you.
you are perfect familiarity for my homeless body,
an electrifying likeness of the stuff of life that knits us human.
recognize in it an utterly redemptive beauty to whom
worthiness is a worthless word.
so i spent the summer trying to rewrite your tattoo
because i would never want to rewrite you.