Angel I wish I’d had that angel fish inked onto my shoulder blade, back in my twenties when I most longed for it. The artist wore double denim and a handlebar mustache. And in his honeyed drawl, he talked color options as seductively as any man holding a sharp needle could. But it would be faded now, these years since, a blurry shadow-fish, a streak of paling greens despite his steady hand. Old fish dry out, scaled skin flakes an itchy flake, washed out with sun and salt along the ocean’s coast. Yet when I look, I find this fish again, in curling papers pinned on tattoo-shop walls beside bright orange carp, red octopus, rose-tangled skulls, all waiting to be drawn on someone new.
Marie-Louise Eyres is an Anglo-American poet. She received her MFA in 2020 after a brain tumor diagnosis in 2018. Her poems have been published widely in the UK, US and Ireland, including Stand, Agenda, Acumen, Poetry and Portland Review, as well as the competition anthologies for the Bridport, Bedford, Ginkgo AONB and Live Canon prizes. Her micro, When We Lived in Los Angeles, is available from Amazon and in late 2022, her second, Wolf Encounters, will be available from Maverick Duck Press.