Trying to describe an experience not felt firsthand is tough

But I saw the depth of reality in Jamie’s eyes
As she described how words were painted on her skin
With caring touch and real connection
Pausing as the pain grew too intense

Gently wiping away ink and blood
Shed as an intimate gesture

A gift
Unlike any that could have been given
Given a different set of circumstances

It is felt like being there in the moment when her skin was bare
Allowing all the elements to embed sense memory
On the naked tapestry of her body
In an atmosphere that started off nervous
For a variety of reasons

Ranging from shy feelings brought shedding clothes
To knowing a single slip of the wrist
Would mean probable infection
Since the bold artist with beat ideas to ink
Carries HIV

Understanding the consequences of a mishap
Actually led to some demands for delay
So he could build up courage to work on a friend

Touching her completely across the upper torso
Working masterfully while inflicting mixed doses of pleasure, pain
Closely holding her skin in new directions
Breathing across her
Adding to the intensity

Felt by even the wind outside
As it provided a soundtrack
Varying degrees of climactic expression
That mixed with classical music
Played inside to provide a point of focus
Keeping both minds in the moment instead of being lost

In the moment
Which would have led to a more seductive touch
Between two people that could not afford to forget the cost
Lest the virus were given an opportunity to spread

And worse

A marriage possibly caught in turmoil
Caused by a friend that for mere pleasure put aside her nerves …

No sex happened

The connection was deeper than that
Even if they both felt a similar excitement
It was due to exquisite workmanship

A closeness rarely encountered

A gift that will last a lifetime

~ ~ ~

The poem above is accompanied by a photo of the tattoo in question over at Empty Sink Publishing,

Travis Naught completed graduate coursework toward a Masters degree in sports psychology at Eastern Washington University and spent 10 years working with their men's basketball team before quitting his volunteer position to pursue writing full-time. Hus first book of poetry, The Virgin Journals, came out in 2012 and his first novel, Joyride, is being published by Black Rose Writing this summer! Please visit for more information and to read more original work by Travis. You can also follow his work on Facebook here,

Thanks to Travis for sharing his tattoos and poem with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2016 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoo are reprinted with the poet's permission.

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