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"Fake Tattoo"

by Nikki Grimes

My butterfly sits
atop my wrist
as if it's poised for flight.

My lovely tattoo
no longer new
will fade before the night.

Still, after it's gone,
it will live on
inside my memory.

This jewel of the air—
beauty most rare—
that once was plain as me.


Nikki GrimesNikki Grimes' "Fake Tattoo" uses a press-on butterfly tattoo as a metaphor to contemplate impermanence, growth, and transformation.

Grimes was born and raised in Harlem and now lives in southern California. She received the 2006 National Council of Teachers of English Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children.

"Fake Tattoo." © 1978 by Nikki Grimes. Used by permission of the author.



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