Her first tattoos were memorials. Then an image, then a symbol of sobriety. Each enriches her story. She embellishes her canvas with great care; her children are amused but shrug.
She is making a burning bowl of her skin.
One day everything she is will rise into the morning sky.
Melody Leming-Wilson teaches poetry in Portland, Oregon. She is about ready for a new tattoo.
Another day starts. You wake weary and late. Whip on a dress suit, hairspray, lippy, and name tag. No time for brushing your teeth. No matter. You never smile at the office anyway.
Clutching a tepid coffee, you’re out the door and running, racing towards the end of your life.
GB Burgess works from home now and smiles every day.
18: The pelican on my shoulder reminds me to slow things down, live calmly.
25: The snake slithering up my arm symbolizes willful and unapologetic action.
33: The rose on my wrist shows me that beauty can stem from new beginnings.
“Dad, what do your tattoos mean?”
“Nothing,” I say.
Jonah Ardiel lives and writes short fiction in Calgary, AB, Canada. To read some of his work, visit jonahardiel.neocities.org.