“The Wishing Well Tattoo” by J.M. Romig


There's this tattoo I wish to get
if I ever get rid this fear
of making decisions.

It's this little girl, maybe seven years old or so
she's holding on to an aged dandelion by its neck.
Her eyes are closed and open to a whole other world -
she shoots a wish toward it
with every muscle in the body
that she doesn't know the names of yet.

The seeds are propelled across my back
and transform into the shooting stars they always dreamed they'd be.
Somewhere below
on an otherwise empty beach
are a couple of teenagers
discovering themselves inside one another.
They kiss and tell no one.
The blanket promises to keep their secret
and the sand sneaks into places it knows it's unwelcome.

They are drunk on the passion of the moment.
She's lost in the stars
and wants to gently scoop those lights from the sky
seal them in a mason jar
and watch them do their cosmic dance around each other
to remind herself of how small she feels under them
and how amazing it felt to be everything and nothing at the same time.
She holds her breath, closing her eyes
sending up a wish in the music of young lust.

Meanwhile,
on my rightmost shoulder blade
There's an older man, looking down a wishing well
at the two young lover's play.
Smiling at his memories
which, like the ink, are fading.
A wish falls out his mouth and speeds down into the darkness
it bounces off the back of the boys head,
and is gobbled up by the greedy sand.