Today's poem comes to us from Cathryn Cofell.
You can’t help but think of your virginity
as you gaze for the last time
at that pure white patch of skin,
as you stare in terror and awe
into the hazy eyes of a guy in flannel shirt
and Mighty Mouse cap who begs you
to call him Cabin Boy,
who you cling to more than god
because you have to,
because he must be your tingling salvation
as he smoothes that clean bare flesh
with his dirty-boy hands,
as he folds away your cotton tee and mouth
and promises he will be careful and
it will only hurt for a minute,
as he revs up his silver needle
and changes you forever.
You can’t help but think of that first
how much easier it was to give it up then
and how much more in love you are
with this strange man this time around
and not because he fills you with sugar
because he fills you with jewels,
the spill of your plain body,
the delicious dare of indelible sin,
because he savors the whole of your skin
for what it is,
for what it can be,
hungry and flaccid and old,
ruby and Goddess and
Be sure to head over to Tattoosday and see her tattoo that inspired this poem.
Cathryn Cofell is the author of five books, most recently Kamikaze Commotion (Parallel Press). She's received 40+ awards for her poetry and essays which also appear in scads of journals and anthologies. She is a zealous advocate for the arts, having served as founding Chair of the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission, on the board of the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets, and currently as Chair of the Verse Wisconsin Advisory Board and a pro-arts voice wherever she'll be heard.