Our Lady of Guadalupe, Tattoo,
Good Time Charlie Cartwright, 1997
Why shouldn’t I be a tattoo?
The world needs another mother
while the father is busy
closing his fist on a marble that’s breaking
along every fault line.
Without me, there’s so little meaning.
When my son died, I said let them
make of me what they will.
My blue mantle. My blue mind.
The kind that used to say no more
then take steps to make it stop.
I went on and on and now
I can’t stop being
whatever the world whimpers it wants.
You know I’m Jewish, don’t you?
You act as if you’d like to forget that.
I’m that something that keeps
getting smaller and smaller until—I’m
no more than a four-inch car ornament
glued to the dashboard,
my body last seen heading into a blizzard.
One day, I’m hammered wall art,
the next, I’m being spit on
in a country that’s lost its compass.
My blond hair is bleached,
don’t you know? The better to be more
porcelain skin. More golden It Girl.
More pray for me, pray for me.
More queen of countless sorrows.
More tomorrow will come like a kingdom.