Archive for the ‘Tattoos’ Category

I got a painting in the mail.  From an upstate Michigan correctional facility.  From a lifer, as they are called.  An intricate, delicate pin-up painted by a guy who sawed someone’s head off in Detroit.  I’m not kidding.  He was avenging his brother’s death.  That’s how you do it, beheading. The avenger sent me a […]


Unnamed Tattoo – 32 Years Old Only tattoo the names of parents, children, or dead people.  Things that are permanent.  Things that are forever.  I don’t remember exactly what Derek’s tattoos look like.  I wish I had a picture of them. The autopsy report doesn’t do them justice, just states that he has two tattoos, […]


Left and Right Collar Bone – Swallows with Banners – 32 Derek is out of treatment again.  His sixth in eight years.  We meet at Adam’s old shop, even though he’s gone.  I have a handful of 100 dollar bills my newest boyfriend, Danny, gave me after a fight. A tall, lanky roofer who wears […]


Middle of Left Arm, Underneath 20’s Girl – Clipper Ship – 31 Kristen buys me a book on Sailors and their women; she buys me an album with a clipper ship on the front that looks like the label of my favorite scotch.  We see play about pirates, women who dressed and passed as men, […]


Left Forearm, Top – Virgin Mary – 28 Years Old Impulsively, Derek and I get tattoos at a woman-owned shop off the French Quarter.  He gets his first one – Koi fish swimming in a circle, Yin and Yang like, spinning in swirling waves with foamy white crests.  I don’t what that image means to […]


Left Forearm, Top – Virgin Mary – 28 Years Old Derek is my new boyfriend. We are twelve months sober, for now.  We took all the money we would have spent on drugs and scraped and saved, buying winter tickets to New Orleans. We are child-like and sappy, tearing through town with wild voices and […]


I meet Xavier late at night, after the shop closes.  It smells of ink and sweat, of blood and latex gloves.  Leonard Cohen’s “Famous Blue Raincoat” sadly plays from a beat-up boom box.  He begins the outline on my leg as he tells me stories of his divorce, his addiction, the stolen motorcycle he crashed […]