Holding your hand, all the way to the dragon’s gate

We are having a very frank discussion
about whether one’s nipples
have to be a certain size
in order to be pierced.

Yours are the smallest I’ve seen
but I pinch one and tell you
I bet they could do it

We laugh during these last moments
where all senses are heightened
everything is brighter and louder
just before dawn

At the tattoo parlor I feel it going dark
as Matt the artist draws jasmine,
his vision on my back, with an ink pen

And I have to lay down
I’m not ready for all of this

When you said you were leaving
I told you everything would change
and yet, here we are
different and still the same

Tomorrow you will get on a plane
Head to California with a koi on your arm
show your girlfriend at sushi night
and she will applaud you
for swimming upstream.