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Tattoo Theory


My own personal map of America on the back of the airplane seat
where the cartoon plane tells you where you’ve been and where
you’re going is, for some reason, in Spanish. So it reads Montes Apalaches.
And I like the way it sounds. But the shape of Nebraska is still the same
despite the translation; it looks like a sad animal with his head hangdog low.
Just countable days ago, we drove through that sad dog place and the boys
wanted tattoos of the state’s outline. Nebraska! Nebraska Forever! Yeah!
I love the keeping of it, the wanting to keep it, but maybe not on my body.
What if I love another state more? What if I love the Montes Apalaches?
What if I stop remembering? What if here’s where I want to keep it,
here’s my permanent puncture, here’s my unstoppable ink.


Ada Limón

TriQuarterly

Winter / Spring 2013


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