Alex Hand: ‘Woman with tattoos’

Woman with tattoos

On the bus, sitting diagonally opposite a pale woman with tattoos,
the illogical immediate impression, she’d been beaten black and blue,
but after further inspection it was clear all four limbs were fully inked.
Staring dumbly, averting my eyes was not so easy; I, an unpaid critic.
Experience says start with at least a nominally positive statement,
but all I manage is, “imagine when she’s sixty, a poor investment,
envisage the flabby, baggy, crinkled skin crumpled in fading cobalt”.
I ought to do a bit better. I’m no fuddy-duddy. Sadly, all I find is fault.

Alex Hand

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