Baring your chest to display tattoos
of the entire solar system
isnt ladylike, but the artwork
is compelling. Saturn with its rings,
the great bulge of Jupiter, Mars streaked
with canals, Venus cloud-shrouded.
The sun nestled so comfortably
between your breasts it looks unlikely
ever to go nova and scorch us.
Plutos difficult to spot, tucked
under your right armpit, tiny
as a mole. But earth looms out of scale above your left nipple, above
your sturdy, underworked heart.
Instead of showing North and South
America, the globe has turned
to offer the broad back of Asia
and the sprinkle of islands below.
How exotic. How many people
would guess that so much universe
lies beneath your buttoned shirt,
when you bother to button it?
The colors are much more vivid
than the old-fashioned bruised-blue anchors
and liver colored hearts the sailors
of my childhood sported. Orange, pink,
chartreuse, forest, cerulean-
the planets dance like fireworks
as you ripple your powerful hide.
If you bear a child and breast-feed
it will grow up with a secret knowledge
of the cosmos no other child
will have. It will know that planets
align themselves in honor of
the Divine Mother, know the Gnostics
were right, and know that the universe
is flesh and intimate enough
to incite your favorite kisses.