The chrysanthemum inked

on the soft flesh of her forearm,

almost but not quite covered the scars

of the hieroglyphs etched with a

paring knife, each an invocation

of the endorphin god,

an oblation of pain to silence pain.

This symbol of life blooms between

please and thank you,

it’s petals lift and fall

on the rifts of damaged skin

as on a breeze.

© Dana Hughes 9.22.20