I had never ‘felt’ old before, I had never ‘felt’ obsolete or irregular in belonging, but today I did. Surrounded by young faces I did. And I said nothing, as so many before me have said nothing. I smiled instead. Hoping my cheeks would fill with my urged girlish falsehood.” —  Moria Gustav-Oliva.

I am not your obsolete parent, I am not anyone’s tamed mother

I don’t possess a mood or way to eat my way out of this leaded prescriptive

Where without knowing, there comes upon us, this kerning lintel

So heavy and cumbersome we would suffocate on our tongues, if not for

Keeping our unmerry heads above red bloodied water.

I am not your obsolete parent, I am not anyone’s tamed mother

This is my time as much as yours, but you tell me: “NO-we are relevant, you are not.”

Did I say that once? Was I the infernal insectile noise deafening others?

Is there a season somewhere on a magical calendar, gloved hand waving over emboldened

Heads, in benediction, in gentle curse, robbing us of vigor, knotting reluctant with purpled vein

Unstitching wholeness? Decrying our failure to stay as we were, bestowing change

To the few who purchase extra years, whilst rejecting the sincerity of a wish made with old coin?

In translation we are lost, in exchange, nothing returned, a trespassing boat on fire

Submerged by its longing to be amphibian.

My hair thins in glassy shards and if it spoke it would say;

“I am leaving you, to go elsewhere, where someone dares live bright as translucent moth bewitched by hot bulb

I miss dancing, I miss you tossing me around, the mane I was, your crowning glory.”

O such lazy epitaphs, such indelible cliches, all of us

In many moments comprising a life of fire

Thinking ourselves special, touched, ascendant

And we are, we are, we are

Though you tell me now; “no wonder you don’t show your face

I see the age laying on you like a cliff eroded by wild sea spray.”

We are the sea, we are the sea!!! Our salt will rinse your drying skin, pull you out

Pull you in, till shore is far, hear the banished mermaids singing

Lost to ourselves, drowned and reborn, I misplace my life blood

Desire is in a box somewhere, I buried it with the

Children I didn’t have, and the hopes that were mad

Beneath a wormwood tree, I mislaid the map and dirtied my shoes in retreat.

When we speak now, your cheeks are full and mine?

Hollowed by all that I cannot say, you ask; “why can’t you

Speak your truth anymore?” I remind you, “Child, nobody wants to hear it.”

We are our own worst enemy but there are others

Who would extinguish any plea based upon artifice and a giant

Appetite to quash, as they fill artificial lakes of disregard

Where those who have had their time are shoved.

We fall, all, none, blurring, becoming less, it is a slow

Thing like when you try to control time or events

Impossible is a word a child scorns and the old woman

In the kitchen baking nothing, stares at herself in a

Mirror in her mind, howling redolently because still she WANTS

She remains hungry, so eat her, devour her, light her with

Your desire, does it ever exist after this given number?

Arbitrary, cruel or accurate? I knew and what could I do?

Staring into the future, devolving in practice, we ran

Wet footed, hand and in hand along the beach, you said; “let’s fuck

In the sand dunes even if someone comes along, let’s

Do it anyway,” even then your voice was dull, I didn’t object

Compliance is the sister of self-hatred, no pain when you are already leaning

Toward despair, I tasted your arrogance like squid ink

Will never come out and still, if I raise my hand to the light

I see the puncture of your quill, reminder, 30 years hence

Tattoos don’t just come in one color.

I am not your obsolete parent, I am not anyone’s tamed mother

Still I exist, I have relevance, beauty, soul, quilted horrors in dried bouquets.

If we met now; your eyes would slide from me like a fever patient

You’d lick your verbose slightly purpled lips in mild disgust; that’s what

They do with women when they’ve had their time

Are we meant then, to cut our legs off and climb into the sea?

Disarticulated and glorious, roll with briny tide until no land in sight

Diminishing, resolving anger, no need to hold your limbic breath

Any longer, let it out, let it out!!!

Clasp her radiating heart to you, hear her sorrows

Pour her a cup of love, as deep as marrow

Tell her it’s not the same, some of us still see her

Our feral eyes sting from the intensity of salt

Still we look …

Still we hold on …

Till patterns emerge, without reason or need for linearity

Evolving, gentle and circular, like a fairy ring

Emerges in silver morning.

8 Replies to “Tattoos don’t just come in one color”

  1. A man wrote that old men should be explorers
    A woman wrote of wearing purple in old age
    In a poem, an aged king urges to set again for shores unknown
    Another poet seemed to reference death as a last goodnight
    But that admonition works as well for growing old, to not go gentle there
    In a play a line goes, “Were your really any older beneath your grey hair at 80 than at 30?”
    And the answer; ” No, younger. At thirty I was a fool.”
    I have these and more touchstones of being, becoming, “old”
    And if I should come upon a wedding
    Might I oblige some young guest
    To hear the tale I can tell?

  2. Well … I absolutely loved this. Wished it were in THE book. This just means I’ll be nagging you again;)

  3. good man – glad I didn’t need to roll out the nag, she’d rather do fun things like read Vol 2 when it’s ready 🙂 xoxo

  4. Pouring you a cup of love for singing all the things I’m unable to right now. I do believe that “Child, no one is listening”. Except us, in infrasound.

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