Kim Addonizio was at the top of everyone's list when I inquired about tattooed poets. It helps when your tattoo is visible in your author photo. Kim was early to sign on to the project, and the first poet to send me a picture. Her tie to tattoos is enhanced by the fact that she co-edited a book called Dorothy Parker's Elbow: Tattoos on Writers, Writers on Tattoos. A National Book Award finalist, she graciously allowed me permission to run the following poem:
First Poem for YouI like to touch your tattoos in completedarkness, when I can’t see them. I’m sure ofwhere they are, know by heart the neatlines of lightning pulsing just aboveyour nipple, can find, as if by instinct, the blueswirls of water on your shoulder where a serpenttwists, facing a dragon. When I pull youto me, taking you until we’re spentand quiet on the sheets, I love to kissthe pictures in your skin. They’ll last untilyou’re seared to ashes; whatever persistsor turns to pain between us, they will stillbe there. Such permanence is terrifying.So I touch them in the dark; but touch them, trying.
Kim Addonizio, “First Poem For You” from The Philosopher’s Club. Copyright © 1994 by Kim Addonizio. Used by permission from the author.
And check out one of Kim's tattoos over on Tattoosday.