The living ink on your body breathes
Faraway myths my imagination cannot reach.
The merman way you flex yourself
– in the dying amber light of the day –
Gives the black swirls a meaning
Only my intuitive eyes can comprehend.
On your neck stand the Three Crosses,
Holy in their uprightness and yet
Condemned by your liberal peers.
The defiance of your existence starts here,
Almost at eye level, and I am (I must admit)
Aroused by its forthrightness,
The suffering of the saint and sinners you have
Committed to carrying until you are ash.
The grinning skull on your bicep is
A reminder of everlasting death;
The sparkling diamond in its mouth
Is the preciousness of here and now.
So smile! and I trace with my fingers
The cluster of bright stars
Across your mountainous shoulders.
From these stars we came,
Ancient dust sprinkled through time to settle
On the planet of Love and Hate.
Heart riven, my sight drops
To your chest where a blue winged serpent
Coils its awful beauty around a maze
Of thorny vines – spewing hellfire over
Private wars fought in the fevered jungles
Of the Far East once upon a Johnson time.
Blood teardrops fall pearl by pearl down
Your midriff, the crevasses of humanity,
Flowing steady into the volcanic heat of your loins,
Engendering wildlife (birds of paradise)
Under the canopy of the Original Tree.
I have gone through a lifetime of soul torment
To reach this sanctum to meditate away
– with the swastika turning on my sinful palm –
My fruitless prison love for you.
10.2.16 Phuket, Thailand
Edward Ong, KL.