If History Books Could Talk

Ask them of the past.

Ink dripped onto our fibers

and dried before we could say anything.

Ask them of the past.

We were branded with tattoos

deeper than the abyss,

more intrinsic than the human soul

(if such a thing exists.)

Ask of them their story.

We don't think such a thing exists.

We remember

it was not our fault. Those

seeking us saw our tattoos,

but over ages ceased to care.

If we were lucky, we could sleep

together in that place where memory

fades to dust, where we forgot

the touch of ink and inkstained

hands.

Ask of them their story.

As we forgot those hands,

their masters disregarded us.

Ask them of misfortune.

Ask our tattoos.

Ask every one.

Ask the branders and historians,

writers, binders, conquerors.

Ask the peasants.

Don't ask us.

Ask them of misfortune.

If we were lucky, we would sleep

together.

If we were unlucky…

The unlucky ones get lost.

In time you forget your past,

and we remind you.

But for us,

to be lost and forgotten with

not even a tattoo to tell a story,

that is the true death.

What do you wish to say?

We say nothing.

Why should we wish?