The Problem with Tattoos – by Jessica Martinez

I feel them pulsing in the dark
when you are inside me—run my palms over jeweled eyes,
          caress their god-like jaws.

You told me what each pharaoh represented:
The left one is wisdom, the middle is faith,
          the last is strength.

I trace my thumb along your rib cage,
explore your chest—tenderly touch the top
          of their crowns.

You said it was a twenty-seven-hour process,
but worth the hurt. I think about you
          wanting me longer

than thirty minutes in this motel,
a ruined oasis—our sweat inked into the sheets.
          I love to kiss each divine face

as we dress. You leave and never say where
            or who you go back to.



Jessica Martinez is a Retention Specialist and writing tutor at San Jacinto College, and co-founder of the women’s online literary journal, CEO. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming with Digital Papercut, Sediments Literary-Arts Journal, Strata, Inquietudes Literary Journal, and Story|Houston. She will be attending Texas State University in August 2018 to pursue her MFA in Fiction.