Today's poem comes to us from Caroline Malone, a writer and professor in Knoxville, Tennessee. Caroline's poem "Body Art" was written prior to her tattoos being composed on her flesh. Be sure to check them out over at Tatoosday here.
Read another of Caroline's poems here.
Although another has mapped you
With roses and thorns,
Vines and buds
Of fuchsia, lime, and plum –
A fantastical place, but surely not entirely
Known to even the most competent cartographer –
The excited path of the needle bled ink
To inscribe your skin with lush vegetation,
To introduce non-native species,
Perhaps a tribute to your imagination,
Begins on your clavicle from germinated seed,
Spreads across your shoulder with delicately unfolding leaves,
Curls down your arm
Sprinkled with inconspicuous white flowers
And freckles like scattered moons,
Now the artist understanding
The colonizing habit of ivy
Extends the thin shoots just below
The hem of your sleeve where they twist
And curl, aching for light,
I travel beyond your arm
A vertical leap to your ankle
Where I survey a ring of figures,
A mysterious language that orbits
An indelible confession of skin,
Turning, spinning, floating
Leaving me suspended deep
In the arms of your spiral galaxy
And its planets, its stars, its curve of space.
Thanks to Caroline for sharing her poem with us here on BillyBlog, along with her tattoos over on Tattoosday!