“First Poem for You” by Kim Addonizio

I like to touch your tattoos in complete
darkness, when 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, “First Poem For You” from The Philosopher’s Club. Copyright © 1994 by Kim Addonizio.

3 thoughts on ““First Poem for You” by Kim Addonizio

  1. Brian Dean Powers

    I’m not a fan of tattoos, but this poem shows an unexpected perspective… which makes it a worthwhile poem.


    1. I like the idea of tattoos, but I change my mind weekly, if not daily. I’m too commitment-phobic for a tattoo of my own.

      Somewhere I read that scars are tattoos with better stories. I think I’ll go that route.

      (Foreshadowing for the next upcoming poem…an all time favorite.)

      I’m a huge fan of Kim’s work though. So bold and gritty. Love her.

      Sent from my iPhone


      Liked by 2 people

  2. LOVE Kim – been saving this in my inbox for when I had a moment.
    As for my comments – I’m stealing every line of yours above.
    Did I tell you that I got a temporary tattoo in Mexico? Because it was temporary (henna), I went big and bold 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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