'Tattoo' by Jan Harris

I lean over and pull the bowl from under the bed, careful not to wake you. Your breathing stays steady and silent.
The henna smells earthy with a tang of citrus. I brush it onto my right sole, press the foot against the middle of your back. It leaves an orange footprint on your pale skin. Soon it will darken to brown.
When you wake, you hurry to shower. I apologise for the clods of henna in the shower tray. "I did my hair yesterday," I say.
The stain runs onto your feet. You dress and I imagine I see my footprint through your white shirt.
Tonight, when you undress, will She see my beautiful, bold footprint, or will you notice first, hide it until it fades?
I climb back into bed, close my eyes and wonder if I dare to dream.


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