Marked (Jane Frank)

At the festival
I saw Bukowski’s bluebird tattooed
on a shapely leg,
YAWP on an inner wrist.
I’m sure it’s important to know
we must write so as not to be dead
even if it takes a mirror,
and that Ithaca has not been a deception.
I admire this inked up conviction
despite being a blank canvas
with no personal anchors
to display beneath a capped sleeve.
Yet where I am now
the sun is stencilling the sea in gold,
painting my feet,
the tide pulling at the river mouth.
The sea has bruised me
as if I’d never left
and those marks don’t wash off.

Jane Frank lives and writes in Brisbane. Her poems have appeared in Australian Poetry Journal, Westerly, Writ, Communion, Snorkel, London Grip, Yellow Chair Review, Antiphon and elsewhere. She teaches in Humanities at Griffith University.