Poetry Friday: An Original Lenten Poem


by Mitali Perkins

Your head swam with him.
You opened your mouth for the depth of his kiss.
Face to face, side by side, knee to knee, eye to eye.

You passed the place with a shudder.
He tugged you inside.
Scratch it on your skin, he said.

You picked the script, a rose, the heart.
Offering ankle, lower hip, upper arm.
Places easier to hide.
Forever, he said, tapping the hollow of your neck.
You measured his gaze, but complied.

He lied, he left, you lose.
Rose wilts, heart fades.
Scrape the lines of him away.

He was not the one who opened his palms.
See? There you are.
Your name tattooed beside the scars.

I wrote this years ago in response to one of my favorite verses in the Book of Isaiah: “Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." Isaiah 49:16, KJV

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is hosted by Julie Larios.

Photo: "Best Tattoos" courtesy of tantrum_dan via Creative Commons.


tanita davis said…
Wow. I had to read that twice, and then again. Wow
Mitali Perkins said…
Thank you, Tanita, for your words. This was scary for me to post. So raw and close to my heart.
susanwrites said…
What Tanita said. Oh my. I was teleported back to a similar time in my own past and the pain came rushing back. Beautiful.
Julie Larios said…
This is a lovely poem, Mitali - you say just enough, hold just enough back. And I like those long "i" sounds piling up - side, eye, inside, hide, complied, lied, signs - and the picked/script/hip in the third stanza. Nice control of sound - good craftsmanship!