Not only is it a big tattoo, but it's on the ribs, one of the more painful spots to get inked. Megan explains, "It's a pirate ship with the names of my three kids." She added, "I'm going through a pretty ugly divorce and since I only get my kids half as much as I used to, I wanted to get this piece done."
She credited the work to Terry Brown, one of the owners at Downtown Tattoos in New Orleans.
Megan sent along the following poem to accompany the ship:
when a woman disappears
it’s a permanent stake
under night, this sky, bodies in a slipping
what you wrote: a secret is a way
of pulling a person apart
pour in like a poison, you feed it
poor excuse, a just score
a domestic failing
pulled force abutting angles
so we dropped a degree of fencing
made adjustments in parallel confines
braided down this writ
this work of medium thumbprints
I put palms to each side of your sweet
face & pretend to be of a gentler nature
absconded, a beauty of break, do you
know what a parade is for?
it’s a way of walking around grief
try to rendezvous this lesser
try not death comes like a desert
you my most thirsty, I was coming along
remember once the children huddle
three a bed where we lullaby
and they ask questions I have no answers
mother is a new “never-was”
if he wants a bed time story
tell him I have no feeling for you
~ ~ ~
Megan Burns is the publisher at Trembling Pillow Press and edits the poetry magazine, Solid Quarter. She has been most recently published in Jacket Magazine, Callaloo, New Laurel Review, Trickhouse, and the Big Bridge New Orleans Anthology. Her poetry and prose reviews have been published in Tarpaulin Sky, Gently Read Lit, Big Bridge, and Rain Taxi. She has two books Memorial + Sight Lines (2008) and Sound and Basin (2013) published by Lavender Ink. She has two recent chapbooks: irrational knowledge (Fell Swoop press, 2012) and a city/ bottle boned (Dancing Girl Press, 2012). Her chapbook Dollbaby was just released from Horse Less Press.
Thanks to Megan for her contribution to the Tattooed Poets Project on Tattoosday!
This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.