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How Ally Got Her Tattoos

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Under duress, she is quick quck with her response

to the question about her recipe tattoos. Shy even,

the woman of blue skin, now settled into forty-five,

those scripts, those salves, soups, and soap.

Each recipe in a fine scripted font, sized and chosen

to contrast with the other recipes printed on her body.

"After the first it was Benedict Arnold not to design

another. Like to not have that recipe marked for my life

was a betrayal of our family's country, our way

of living and marking seasons, rich and poor."

There's a recipe for root smash salve for burns,

silverpaste of mussle and clam for wedding crackers,

chocolate soup for weary nights, onion and apple

tea for colds. Her heel is rounded with a purple garlic

ball, her shoulders capped with rounds of cheese.

Without her ink she is unnoticed. Just another wife

in the grocery ailse. Without her ink she is unmade,

another memory slipped under the wire and gone.

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