"In 2001, I was able to take a trip to Ireland, the place of my mother’s ancestry, a place that she regretted never having visited. When I returned from Ireland I decided to tattoo her maiden initials on my arm in the original Celtic font used in The Book of Kells; CFM stands for Catherine Fallon McGinnis.
Chameleon in Harvard Square was my choice shop. The funny part is I had a difficult time convincing the artist to work on the inside of my arm. He kept asking me, 'Are you sure you want it there? You aren’t going to be able to hide it. Are you sure you don’t want a smaller font?' After some heckling, he gave me what I wanted. I take pride that she is there, and can’t hide from me or the world."Here is one of Andrea's poems:
Discourse of Bric-a-brac
Insomnia in a twin bed,
the screech of brakes before
inevitable. Like the stray dog
gigolo, tags intact, jangling,
neighbors clamoring over each.
Who locked whom out. Get out.
Last time. The woo before sex, the sex,
the prayer you will drift asleep first
and the skateboard wheel as it fills each rut
in the walk just before the little boy falls.
Oklahoma City, the morning after
snow when you’ve only thin sandals.
That cold burning you thought you could
control by sleeping in separate beds,
stingray on the beach, insides pecked out,
still breathing and that sad miracle.
It’s disregarding the phone at 4am,
the trill of it or the painter in the dream
when he whispers, You can open your mouth
if you want to. This indecision.
Because your roommate would kill the spiders
behind the blinds, because the dishes in the sink
are desire and desire clutter.
Because in the sixth grade you wore
deodorant but no scent, underwear in the shower,
and watched the cool kids kiss formulas
out of each other after school. It’s because
by Darwin’s calculations we’re still here
surviving, fit to love best uneven,
even when there’s no love left.
~ ~ ~
Andrea England is a student, a mother, poet, and teacher, who resides in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming in, Passages North, Cutthroat Magazine, The DMQ Review, RHINO, and others. Dogs and cold, snowy winters are also worth mentioning as objects of her affection.
Thanks to Andrea for sharing her work with us here on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.