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Wednesday, June 18, 2008 01:39 am

People's poetry

Jacqueline Jackson presents

Untitled Document springfieldpoem #7  
the linden trees are in blossom you won’t notice blooms they’re green blend with the leaves but you will turn your head look around say where is that delicate perfume coming from
© Jacqueline Jackson 2008


Among young people, tattoos are all the rage and, someday, dermatologists will grow rich as kings removing them from a lot of middle-aged people who have grown embarrassed by their colorful skins. I really like this poem by Sharmila Voorakkara of Ohio.

For the Tattooed Man
Because she broke your heart, “Shannon” ’s a badge —
a seven-letter skidmark that scars up across your chest, a flare of indelible script. Between “Death or Glory”, and “Mama”, she rages, scales the trellis of your rib cage; her red hair swings down to bracket your ankles, whip up the braid of your backbone, cuff your wrists. She keeps
you sleepless with her afterimage,
and each pinned and martyred limb aches for more. Her memory wraps you like a vise. How simple the pain that trails and graces the length of your body. How it fans, blazes, writes itself over in the blood’s tightening sighs, bruises into wisdom you have no name for.

Poem copyright © 2005 by Sharmila Voorakkara, whose most recent book of poetry is Fire Wheel (University of Akron Press, 2003). American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Ted Kooser served as the U.S. Poet Laureate from 2004-2006. For more information, go to www.americanlifeinpoetry.org.
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