ink :: michael shewmaker

Is there a canvas crueler than the body?
The ink is permanent. The skin is not.
I have no patience for the lover’s gaudy
heart—swollen, pierced—a hackneyed blot
beating against the odds. I’ve seen them all:
straddled by seraphim, or torn apart—
on women, men, the lesser parlor’s wall—
hallmarked MOM, or skewered by a dart
from Cupid’s quiver.
                                   But enough of love,
I work in monochrome. I deal in skulls.
Behind each piece a brief, familiar story.
It ends in bones—the sort of plot that dulls
the point. My needle’s steadiest above
a stinging script that reads:
  Memento Mori.