Monday, April 12, 2010

The Tattooed Poets Project: Cathryn Cofell

Today's poem comes to us from Cathryn Cofell.

TATTOO


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

popped cherry

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 Nile.


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.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is class Cofell - a wonderful poem, full of rich language and lyric rhythms. I don't suppose I should add that reading it makes my skin tingle!

Linda said...

Awesome as usual, Cathryn, and I highly recommend to everyone out there that you follow the link to her books of poetry. Her lines will tattoo your mind.

Lea said...

Wonderful poem...you could almost hear its heart beating ... great pacing, line breaks, tone, and musicality!