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Lines creep up and over

arms and chest no longer your own;

a tarry tapestry.


Each has a purpose

love, loss or simply pain,

one deletes a past love

scaly beast over the name.

Decades of beads twist amongst roses,

crying Mary, buried in thorns.


Crimson around delicate edges

a lotus leaf in hand, the latest;

palm outstretched.


Only a few more

empty spaces earmarked,

letters across bone

calligraphy in hollows.


Comforted by needle tips –  

will it end, once the need is met,

the canvas covered?

Seeing less of you,

smothering what really lies beneath.


Published in Phizzfest ‘Best of Poems in Festival’ 2011

Photo from Creative Fan website – http://creativefan.com/tattoo-ideas-for-women/