A Poem: Jane Doe | Poetry | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine

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A Poem: Jane Doe

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Stripped of her wet clothing
She appeared to be in her 30’s,
About 5-foot-8, 120-130 pounds,
with brown hair and eyes
and a sallow complexion.

As for jewelry, she had 5 earrings—
3 on the right, 2 on the left—
an eyebrow and finger rings,
but no engagement diamond
or wedding band.

Breast implants and a few tattoos.
Twin hearts conjoined above her own
once had names now obscured
by sinuous black vines. A red rose blooms
on her upper right arm.

A pink tribal garland encircles
her naval, and a menacing
red-yellow-and-black-banded snake
coils around her left thigh.

The most recent covers her back.
A fire-breathing emerald dragon
with outstretched claws
lashes its serrated tail around her hip
down toward her groin.

Who was she, upon whose youthful flesh
These indelible icons were tattooed?
Having volunteered to yield her outer self
to illustration, what injurious incident
or unspoken desperation compelled her

To approach the lake alone at night,
neither to weep nor swim.
Only to summon the will to wade
into its chill embrace and there remain
immersed till found?

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