The Ink On Your Arm

an arm covered with a tattoo

Mazel tov–
You just got married.
Your grandmother, my aunt,
she sent me the photo,
you and your husband together,
holding a marriage certificate.
I zoom into the photo.
I read the details–
but your inked arm
grabs my attention

The flowers, the curved lines
even the crosses–
they’re beautiful on you.
But then my heart sinks,
tears form in my eyes:
there, under the foliage
so perfectly and delicately blended,
the darkest ink I could ever imagine
on you, my dearest cousin,
is a swastika and a smile on your face.


My happiness fades
as I wonder what is going on,
how could you mark your body
with such hate–
hate of the highest kind,
and towards your cousin.
I am the one you ran to
when you were little;
you followed me around
on our family’s southern farm.
Talking constantly
and wanting my attention
and approval.


You have my attention now.
You’ve caught my eye
and made my mind race.
What malice lives inside your heart?
What things have you done?
What things do you have planned?
Do you march with torches?
Do you scream out for our death?


Are you aware, dearest cousin
I am one of them–
the ones you hate,
that you so proudly
proclaim the want of their demise
through the ink on your arm?
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