Terrence Fleming – it was what she wanted

Terrence Fleming

it was what she wanted

this girl
she wanted an astronaut tattoo
she said
I don’t want to stain my skin
with something
that says anything
about me
don’t want to be vulnerable
had it with that
she looked so damn good
so long-legged, flat-bellied goddamn good
with really, really clean, petite, good looking feet
and her face of course was good
like all their faces have to be
with eyes that make you look for your dead dog’s dreams behind your broken-down sofa
and she said to me
I want a tattoo that is more just a representation of what tattoos used to be
and I didn’t know what she meant
so she elaborated
she said
a tattoo
that’s like
taking your fishnets off
after getting back home
on the eve
of your deflowerment
does nothing
to convey
in the least
any of
the sentiments
of that
and I still didn’t know what she meant
but her lips her lips her lips were like a sacrament
and she said
tattoos are like dead omens anymore
don’t you think?
they’ve really lost their luster now, anymore
all caught up in competition
like everything else
and so much of people’s identities
wrapped up in a community
and you knew it was all over once they started to refer to it as “ink”
and even the young prostitutes were no longer ashamed
of big
coiled snakes
running right up their back
and she just looked so damn good with her light red hair that was somehow dying
to be pink
and her skin as flawless as her reasoning could never be
and isn’t that always the tragedy?
and she said
I just want a tattoo that doesn’t in any way refer back to me
I just want a badly rendered astronaut
or a lobster

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