A Poem: Dysfunctional Sweeping

Tattoo in progress

Tattoo in progress (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tattoos, hearts and armies. Such different images… or are they? They align in my newest poem, Dysfunctional Sweeping.

Dysfunctional Sweeping

The dysfunction swept over your skin and
Tattooed itself in swirls I envied.
I chose to enlist in your army of corruption,
Only I needed your assistance with filling
Out the paperwork and deleting my family.

You colored over my own skin with hot
Wax that laid smoothly over my naïve fingers,
While your eyes dances with visions of
Tears you rearranged into a pattern of love.

When you expanded your puzzle, seeking
More fingers and ink, I began to realize the
Magnitude of my backspace.

You chose yourself, and I chose the army life,
But today my skin airs itself with a
Reflection that deposits no swirls and
No stamps of you.

©2013 Christy Birmingham


This is christyb, choosing my own circumstances and circumferences.


46 thoughts on “A Poem: Dysfunctional Sweeping

  1. Aquileana

    What a powerful poem my dear friend…

    Just starting with the title “Dysfunctional Sweeping” which is almost a “Futurist” image (** See tweet below)…

    I found poetic images which seem to be related to bodily marks… (over your skin / tattoo/ hot Wax)

    The main topic here is a Dysfunctional relationship. A spinning swirl bond which becomes a twister of corruption

    Once you have enlisted that “army”, the only way to get over it is by sweeping the smudges of the past…

    I love how you link the lack of freedom with your lack of space.

    Meaning noting here, how you compare his increasing territorial expansion with your need to break free, once you have realized the real magnitude of your own backspace.

    Stirring poem that speaks out loud through your words, Christy…

    Thanks for sharing.

    Sending you love, Aquileana 😉


    (** “Futurist image”)


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Hi Aqui,
      I like your phrase of “smudges of the past” – excellent poetic phrasing! You are a poet without realizing it 🙂

      You are quite right about the desire of the person in the poem to get away from the ink on the skin, the swirls that at first seem attractive and then turn so unlikable… Thanks for exploring the lines along with me!

      The futuristic aspects you pointed out are very interesting. I enjoyed the read you shared here and on Twitter so that I could learn more. We learn from one another and I love that about us!

      GalPals, hugs and smiles xx


      1. Aquileana

        Really?… I am a poet without realizing it ???. (How is that??)….

        You are right we learn form one another…. Regarding Futurism , I just wanted to highlight here that I have seen an interesting connection between your poem and points 1, 2 and 7 of the Futurist Manifest;

        Sending you love, Aquileana 😉


  2. rollyachabot

    Beautifully written Christy, “Magnitude of my backspace,” certainly caught my eye. How often have we looked back at the freedoms we once had and realize we have lost them in comparison to where we find ourselves today… love the way you have worked your words into everyones thoughts… well written.

    Hugs from the cold and the wind


    1. Christy Birmingham Post author

      Thanks, Rolly. As soon as that phrase about the backspace appeared on my page, I knew it was the right word choice. Hearing from you that I am choosing words that captivate minds and are meaningful means a lot to me. Hugs.



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