I take a breath
and hold it.
The buzz of the needle
makes me sick.
The artists laugh through their thick accents
chuckling at my ink virginity.
The polyester cover of the table
sticks to my naked breasts.
My bare back bumps with chills.
I grit my teeth and wait
wondering if it will be a stabbing pain,
or a dull ache.
I feel pressure, and tense,
then realize it's coming from my palm.
You, by my side all along,
smiling at me.
"You're going to be so happy."
and I allow myself to drift away on your cloud of tranquility
back to the night that led me here.
At three in the morning, you brought me to your room,
sat me on the floor amongst paper and paints
handed me a brush
and said "Create."
"Paint my lips." I asked,
and you complied,
and so coloured them snow white.
The bristles tickled my lips
and I giggled.
"You smudged it!" you scolded me,
and so raised your thumb to my cheek.
"Kiss me clean."
My voice a whisper.
"You have no idea how long I've been waiting."
you said, and you did.
All night we took turns painting each other's mouths,
making art upon the canvas of each other's skin,
making love upon the floor caked in watercolour paints,
You traced my back, my scars, my shoulder blades
"It looks like you used to have wings."
"Draw them on me." I replied,
and so you did, and that is the reason today I lie
with a gun pumping ink into my skin,
permanently setting the stencils in.
I squeeze your hand, and you grip mine.
"You're going to be just fine."
and for the first time in my life,
I know it's true.