Archive for April 4th, 2022

Monday, 4 April 2022

Ink by Angela Sorby

Samuel Steward, d. 1993

The tattoo artist’s
testicular tumor
came from a teratoma,
a malabsorbed embryonic twin.
The doctor said what mattered
was a cure.
The tattooist demurred:
what mattered to him
was the little sib lodged
in his right teste,
expanding benignly
at first, then deadly.

The teratoma took it slow.
Always the muffled music.
Always the black ink bath.
Always the guest in the guestroom


its fragments of DNA.
The tattooist covered
his calves with roses.
He wanted to send a single
stem to his twin,
but it couldn’t be delivered
past the blood-brain barrier,
past the wall in the heart
that holds the possible
and the impossible
in adjoining cells,
but apart.


Date: 2013

By: Angela Sorby (1965- )