June 13, 2007
Hump day poetry: Kim Addonizio
Given the positive responses I got to my poem-a-day-for-Poetry-Month experiment, I’m going to borrow a tradition from Sera and start posting poems once a week. Or, at any rate, that’s the plan. I’m starting with one of my favorite sonnets. (Would you have guessed it was a sonnet? “First Fight. Then Fiddle.” is another favorite sonnet of mine. I don’t tend to gravitate toward formal poetry, but it’s clear that brilliant things can be done with strict forms.) If you have a request, please don’t hesitate to ask!
First Poem for You
I like to touch your tattoos in complete
darkness, where I can’t see them. I’m sure of
where they are, know by heart the neat
lines of lightning pulsing just above
your nipple, can find, as if by instinct, the blue
swirls of water on your shoulder where a serpent
twists, facing a dragon. When I pull you
to me, taking you until we’re spent
and quiet on the sheets, I love to kiss
the pictures in your skin. They’ll last until
you’re seared to ashes; whatever persists
or turns to pain between us, they will still
be there. Such permanence is terrifying.
So I touch them in the dark; but touch them, trying.
—Kim Addonizio, 1994