A pitch black tattoo
covers almost her entire head.
Only a lightning streak of white
is left on her right cheek
like something frozen in an act of violence.
It obliterates her.
The ugly people look at her and hate her
for doing to herself what nature did to them,
for underneath you can see she had been a pretty girl.
They look at her like a cripple
would look at someone mutilating their own leg.
The beautiful people look at her
and silently feel superior
and even the heavily tattooed bikers
are at a loss for words.
She is marked forever
by all the pain and hatred of youth
turned inside out
and her eyes peek out of the blackness
like dew on an early grave.
—from Rattle #25, Summer 2006