-from an “Arco: How to Write Poetry-Third Edition” exercise

stain my skin in tones of the earth, tones of home
stain the wine glass rim
stain the rosy cheek back of the palm dragging blood red cab’
stain my lips with the lipstick of the week, whatever’s in season
paint in wtf-bright Pikachu yellow, Elvira mid-summer’s night, mud-mood espresso coffee 
Mycenean-adobe Crimson, Electric-Cleopatra blue, Venician-vacation wine
stain the senses
taste the rainbow painted before the cusp of the tongue
if you dare 
take on a subscription until it starts to become a problem
no one ever mentions this though
the taste the of lipstick stain in broad strokes 
“Domination” tastes like rose scented play-doh, “mad love” liquid lacquer glazes like cinnamon bun scented candles and the deeper the red the further in the rose bushes you smudge
until thats all you smell

stain the page, while you’re at it 
stain the fingers
the crest of the palm too
stain it all in black, blue, red and green 
stain my hands like sewage workers boots
while heavy hand presses ink into a flood

and no one mentions this either, but
the smell the of ink
no one ever mentions the scent
the smell of dental equipment once the cap is gone
and that wafting aftermath of floating soot behind the squid, you grabbed too tightly

finally, the test tube aroma drifts away
when the ink settles between iris blots blasted onto the page in excess
and this I believe is the only stain that leaves no scent behind
not like berry wine
no that stays with you through the night 
like the stains you have yet to make
the words you have left to write