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Then I Was Blue

One night, I said, I wish I could tattoo myself onto you.

By Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
Fiction | Margins Fellow, love, tattoo
April 1, 2015

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is a 2015 AAWW Margins Fellow. Meet our other fellows here, and check back to read more of Rowan’s work.


One night, I said, I wish I could tattoo myself onto you. You said, I’d like that, you’d be with me wherever I went. The next morning, I was inscribed just below your collarbone. I was my full name—both the English one and 久代, which I’d shown you how to write on our first date.

You yawned and as your chest curved so did I. The stretch felt good. You called my name, and I rose and fell with each syllable. Unaware I was inked into you, you got out of bed and checked each room of your tiny apartment. What made you think I’d be hiding in a closet?

We’d always slept naked. Our bodies had identical temperatures. I never had to shy away from your cold feet. It was one of the reasons I believed we were meant to be. Still, you walked past three mirrors before you noticed me.

You yelped. You rubbed a thumb hard against my O, twisting it left and right. You slathered me in spit, but that was nothing new. Eventually, you covered me in your 80% cotton 5% viscose 15% silk shirt and went to the office. At work, you were distracted and kept reaching up, fingers hovering above me. This happened less and less as the days went on. Eventually, you remembered me only when your new lovers traced their fingers along my curves and asked, What’s the story there?