Eye Tattoo by John Creary

She got a smoking deal
.           on an eye tattoo

by an unlicensed artist
.           and now it’s buttered

with puss, horribly infected.
.           She can barely open her eyes,

leans blindly into remorse,
         waiting for the doctor’s

soft tug, the tense bandage
.           freed, to joke

blithely, let there be light
        with nostalgic friends

who quietly question
          whether or not they can still

be friends with someone
          they no longer respect.

They are wide-eyed
.            with burning wonder;

does a squalid judgement
.            wedge thorns between

frail handshakes? I overheard
          she has an opulent

glass eyeball, but, apparently
          she has been seen

swimming uninhibited lately,
.            running with a larger

carnality, even maybe falling
          head over heels into a patch-

work of love, not once looking
.            at the burnt wick

of her relationships, getting
          dressed up for the bright lights.


Copyright © John Creary. Originally published in subTerrain (#80: Margins).


John Creary has had poems published in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2011, Arc, Event, Grain, CV2, Fiddlehead, Vallum, subTerrain, and The Antigonish Review. He participated in the Arc Poet-in-Residence Mentorship Program (2010) and won the Calgary Literary Kaleidoscope Award in 2008. He currently lives and writes in Calgary.

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subTerrain is published 3 times a year from modest offices just off of Main Street in Vancouver, BC. We strive to produce a stimulating fusion of fiction, poetry, photography and graphic illustration from uprising Canadian, U.S. & International writers and artists.

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