tell me stories
of the ink on your pale skin
the mockingbirds, butterflies, swallows
a miniature zoo encaged in your ribs
a snake slithering below your breast

and in between your fingers:
the sun pointing north
a palm tree (for heckling)
a seashell on the ring
an anchor––the weight of a promise
when you say paraiso
your tongue folds
like waves kissing the shore

the names tracing your spine:
your first boyfriend
your late grandfather
your favorite bible verse
your first
your last
and finally,

tell me how each of them came to be
and tomorrow will never come.

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