Gingerbread House Lit Mag

The Alchemist’s Daughter Gets a Tattoo

They say that it will hurt and I want it to.
Give me a kind of pain I can hunger for
and fathom, pain that folds itself and fits

neatly into the outline of a sparrow
on the shoulder blade, a lover’s name
written in cursive, a bouquet of foxglove

scrawled across ribs. I have known pain
from the cradle. Child swaddled in torture
of test tubes, experiments. Let me undress.

I tell the artist to cover my back in scales
of emerald, paint my arms golden, give me
swirls of liquid fire. Mural me a dragon.

She presses needle to the canvas of my skin,
and I listen to the buzzing, relish every shiny
drop of ink and blood until I’m no more woman

than living tapestry. No longer mere vessel
for pain, I’m steeped in it. I am swimming
in metals: cobalt and copper, mercury and lead.

Rachel Pittman


Rachel Pittman is an MFA candidate at McNeese State University and serves as an assistant editor for the McNeese Review. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing from Georgia Southern University. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Helixminiskirt magazineVon Aegir Literary, and Whale Road Review.

Artwork: Yuumei
Website: https://www.yuumeiart.com/

This entry was published on April 30, 2022 at 12:09 am and is filed under 50 (April 2022), Current Issue, Poetry. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.
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