Published on Academy of American Poets (


The man with the black feather tattoo pares this space
Between fantasy and the memory of a man’s carved
Torso, designed for stroking and celebration.

Today the sun’s brightness is like that lover’s kiss,
Wonderful in the present and greater in memory.

A memory that brings me back to that black feather’s
Flutter. Stars dazzle in some other part of this world
Where the sun has set and the moon illuminates
Swans diving into voluminous waters.


Copyright © 2015 by Patricia Spears Jones. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2015, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I am not a fan of tattoos, but the black feather on the Brazilian dancer was a mark that could not be unseen. It is always interesting to write about desire, what sparks it, how to obtain it, what happens when it is gone. The dancer’s movements, that tattoo, his beauty—ah the sparks.”
Patricia Spears Jones


Patricia Spears Jones

Patricia Spears Jones, a longtime resident of New York City, is the author of A Lucent Fire: New & Selected Poems (White Pine Press, 2015).

Date Published: 2015-10-27

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