Our july contributor is Sarah Bartlett, who shared this lovely tattoo:
"For me, the ouroboros represents the cycle of rebirth and wholeness. I've wanted to get one for awhile, and finally arrived at the right design and placement a few months ago. The magnolia flower at the center offers the same basic idea of regeneration. Outside the first apartment I lived in alone, there was an incredibly beautiful magnolia tree. It bloomed furiously right up against my picture window. So, that particular type of flower is an important character in my life story."Sarah credited this lovely tattoo to Alena Chun (@alenachun) at Icon Tattoo Studio (@icontattoo) in Portland, Oregon, adding, Alena's "very talented and the studio is fantastic."
Sarah sent us the following poem, from her new book, Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Out:
All The Little Lights Turn On
I wake up with a forest growing
on my back, and instead of being alarmed,
I open my window and lay
very still so the birds will move in.
Cutting it down was a possibility
early on, but the birds sing to me
all day while they make their nests,
and I use their feathers to plump
my pillows. My friends are concerned,
but I tell them not to touch it.
They sweep up fallen leaves
and bring me high-energy snacks.
They worry about how fast it’s growing,
whether or not they should try and move me
before the room becomes overgrown,
and about the fox tail they see disappearing
into thickets. Paws make me feel
like I’m holding something.
They start sleeping over in tents.
Your body is going to be a killing field,
they warn. But I don’t care
about hypocrisy anymore.
~ ~ ~
Sarah Bartlett lives in Portland, OR. Her debut poetry collection, Sometimes We Walk With Our Nails Is Out, was released in 2016 from Subito Press. She is the author of two chapbooks, My Only Living Relative, published by Phantom Books in 2015, and Freud Blah Blah Blah, published by Rye House Press in 2014.
Thanks to Sarah for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.