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POEM: Milk Tattoo


I am the eater of bacon and bread.
You are the princess, milk-face, ultra tattoo.
Rulers of the hackneyed corners of this hairy, flustered,
dish cracking room.
Landed in softness. Hampered in loom.

That cornflower sweater is wrapping. It unwraps.
That T-shirt is netting. It releases. Those boots are
boxes. They unload. Those pants are
canvas tarps. They uncover. That brassiere is
a crane. It unracks. That
underwear is a convention. I attend

eight tarnished silver rings, rowed on a plastic shelf,
disassembled from your fingers. A knife, a fork,
a spoon, a napkin, a container of milk, a stick
of butter, a basket of bread.

Oh, you’re a board game, a cream colored spinning pinwheel,
a greasy lip slip and slide, a 380 piece puzzle potential
supine in the can.

A side of bacon, a side of home fries, an
English muffin with strawberry jam.

I can hear the ambulance but I can’t see your tattoos.
The spider web, the boxer, the bat, the leopard, the sword,
the sun, the star, the radiator.

You and your tattoos dazzle dust in a not-quite-a-darkness,
night milk spilling in pancakes of grey felt.
A smothered cloudy watercolor wavelength
bathes blankets of lushpuffy battleship fuzz.

A beale bit of butter swirled in jam by the deliberate
dragging scratch of a dull serrated knife.

Ahhhhh. Your tattoos ring you from nape to nipple, from
venus to wedge, fluttering. Rippling. Your precise
geography, undefined flames on your back. Needlepoint. Puncture. Punch.

Pout of ecstasy. A broken flag of flapskin on your chapped bottom lip.
A scab beneath your eye on your cheek. A dead bee
rotating in a buttermilk vat. A red crusty crumb
crunching, corrugated under my thumb.

I grip your hips to churn your course.

Doorcrack light beams vapor through a tattoo glass triangle.

Ever have a prism for breakfast?

Your drool is on the pillow.
My hair is on the pillow.
Our skulls are on the pillow.
My hand cups the angle of milk.

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