Selections From 11:37: “Tattoo Smoke”

For my senior honors thesis at Penn, I wrote two poems a day for six months. It was called Selections from 11:37. Basically, every morning and every evening, at exactly 11:37, I stopped whatever I was doing and gave myself fifteen minutes to write a poem. (You can purchase my collection here or click preview to read more about the project.) Only about 70 poems made it into my final thesis, so I have literally hundreds of poems that have never seen the light of day. Here’s one of them.

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TATTOO SMOKE                                                (Morning 11/11/12)

Smoke sunk into my skin like a tattoo. I try to scrub it away in the shower, but the ink remains—in my hair, in my eyes, in my mouth. I gargle lukewarm bathwater and spit. Wisps of mist escape the corners of my lips. I can’t get clean today, I can only wait for the smell to fade and the eyeblood to recede into cold vessels. Until then, grey droplets will paint the tiles six o’clock. They’re all I have.

————

P.S. Here’s another link to my poetry collection.

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