before tattoos came along, introverts never wore their hearts on their sleeves, wrists pressed

with pale wallflowers and silk. before

tattoos, stories drenched the airwaves instead

of skin, dripping with sounds like once upon

a time, like happily ever after, like great white

noise. the introverts found a voice in the gentle hum 

of a tattoo needle, peeling off onion layers

and offering a jagged shoulder or trembling

ankle as empty canvas.