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Wash-Off Tatoos

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The wash-off kind
is babyish to them now,
but I still have a wrinkled, chipped
smiley face on my hand because
I know it is a relic,
requiem for the lost land
of juice boxes
and monkey bars.

Lightning was quick.
They were like werewolves
transforming under a full,
bowling ball moon,
as they became party animals,
elephants and lions and snakes,
under a million stars.

They inject their
ultimatum
into their skin:
they can do what they want,
even
tie ink kudzu around their ankles
and cut off their circulation.

So
I'm still at the sink,
taking my time
and taking my time
to gently rinse away these
twenty-five cent colors.




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