Tattooed Thumb

by Julie Ann Weinstein

A tattoo of a river steamboat, one you dreamed up in your sleep and drew yourself is anchored around your nail bed on your thumb. I paint my nails with regatta sails. The toxic fumes sting my nose. You say you're bored and take out a needle filling it with ink. I watch as your index finger becomes waves. You press it against my nails. I feel the heat, inflamed skin. You hand me a bottle of tequila. I down a fifth for Cinco de Mayo. I see stars in my head and bend my fingers in yours. The invitation you take. The first pinch of skin binds us. It hurts so much that tears run down my face. You kiss away the salt water. I close my eyes. I feel your lines filling me.