This Marriott in the foothills
has a heated indoor pool

empty on a December weeknight,
no lifeguard on duty.

My husband sips a beer
we snuck past the lobby.

He wants to get the tattoo
he’s been planning since

his remission:
the radiation symbol

with its yellow and black
fan blades. Right on his shoulder.

A lot of skin
I think I should have a say over.

Would I ever get one?
He knows what I’ll say.

Something discreet,
on an ankle,

a sleeve tat maybe
inside the biceps

but one where the phrase
disappears inside the shirt cuff.

From Coachella Elegy by Christian Gullette (Trio House Press, 2024). Copyright © 2024 Christian Gullette. Reprinted with the permission of the press.