My first tattoo

It was a discussion

between the two of us

During our midnight shift

Of watching inmates

She was my 960,

or I was hers

We were a pair

Both tall and thin,

connected in a dream

(Or nightmare)

We went to get tattoos together

This was my first

I got a Big Bird

and she got a gecko

Both on our ankles

I felt connected

My first husband felt different


he felt it a good idea to threaten me

“If you get another…”

We divorced

My second tattoo was different


Now both meaningless

The cost of tattoo removal

exceeding ten-fold,

no, twenty-fold,

The original cost and pain

Trying to erase the past is painful

and never finished

Remnants of both remain

under the skin


Like unfinished business

I am reminded,

it’s still there

Laser removal is too painful a journey

To continue

Thinking of my next tattoo

To conceal my past mistakes

Compound interest

Would have been nice to have

If I had invested in myself

A little better…