Friday, October 15, 2010

Invisible Ink

For Gavin

According to The Telegraph
September 21st, 2010—
in World War I, a lad
at London University learned
semen makes excellent ink for
secret messages: seminal
fluids don’t react to iodine
vapor, the standard chemical
tests, and gentlemen—spies,
prisoners, lovers—always
have access to fresh supplies—
fresh being the operative
word. Spunk can’t be stored
in the field very conveniently:
it quickly starts to stink,
giving the army away. If this
emboldened our boy to jack-
off in his lab and start
scribbling, the article didn’t say.
Nor did it reveal his name.
I suspect this fellow wrote
poetry in his spare time.

I remembered all this
this morning, reading about
your new tattoos. I pictured you—
beautifully bareback—
just yesterday, facedown,
under a hot, bright lamp,
a needle buzzing, you wincing a
bit, maybe, sipping a warm
bottle of disgusting beer—
as Circle, the artist,
inscribed a pachyderm
prancing proudly on your arm.
I also pictured myself
next month—biting
a pillow—my mouth full of
goose down. I wonder
what kind of marks your
teeth will leave on my
pale shoulders? What secret
messages—what poetry—
will you pick up your
pen to write? And how
will I feel afterwards,

when I can read your thoughts?
Will I regret that night?

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