Marie-Louise Eyres


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.