Wild Dogs Under My Skirt
I want to tattoo my legs.
Not blue or green
I want to sit opposite the tufuga
and know he means me pain.
I want him to bring out his chisel
and strike my thighs
the whole circumference of them
like walking right round the world
like paddling across the whole Pacific
in a log
knowing that once you’ve pushed off
loaded the dogs on board
there’s no looking back now, Bingo.
I want my legs as sharp as dogs’ teeth
wild Samoan dogs
the mangy kind that bite strangers.
I want my legs like octopus
that catch rats and eat them.
I even want my legs like centipedes
the black ones
that sting and swell for weeks.
And when it’s done
I want the tufuga
to sit back and know they’re not his
they never were
I want to frighten my lovers
let them sit across from me
and whistle through their teeth.
From Wild Dogs Under My Skirt (Victoria UP, 2004)