Anton has a tattoo on his left shoulder
Tribal tattoo
as fashion statement;
water as diversion,
an obstacle to impress upon
me -

we do not touch
any longer; just linger
in conversation, float
in a kind of transparent
net of happenstance.

Tribal tattoo
as mistake of
drunken youth;
we pretend to be
lord and lady of this
soapy seashore
where the native
middle-class scapegoat
themselves as our court,

the sun burns our skin,
your tattoo left exposed
but unchanged; I feel it

suddenly awkward,
look out at the vast
schism of the world,

redraw penalty in
the sand, go back to our
separate corners, leave
me to dream about the
shade of your grin, or the
shape of a hand slung
limp down your side;
talk with your hands,

tribal tattoo
moves as you do.