Login   Sign Up 


The Tattoist`s Woman

by HelenClare 

Posted: 13 December 2005
Word Count: 269

Font Size

Printable Version
Print Double spaced

The Tattooistís Woman

He works in the studio below. Sometimes I pop down.
Sometimes he pops up. Tonight heís late,
but Iím leaving him be. I push through a few more seams
and let the night he promised melt away.

The delicate needles draw from their reservoir of ink
deposit it accurately beneath the skin
and then move on. I sew with a ballpoint, the rounded end
eases between fibres and never splitting them.

Remember Howe - dreaming the eye at the base of the spear,
the sweating into sheets as he boiled in a cannibalís pot.
The eye alone penetrates the fabric, the spool churning
and catching the loop in its own.

The top thread stays top. The bottom thread bottom.
They never swap. The fabricís unmoved.
When he comes back up I fit the waistcoat to his shoulder
and he lets out his day Ė the Welshman and the dragon

covering a dodgy pin-up; the man with a son
named after a fading Northern town, three deaf lesbians, shy
yet one rubbing his back, knowing him tired and long past
closing time. He is proud of this tenderness,

offering it to me as I kneel to pull in the waistline.
I explain how silk pours - the fibres shifting against each other
like the molecules in water. All fabric is mesh
a fragile mass of force and friction.

Iím drowsing, when he flips me over with a filthy joke
digging his nails into my buttocks as I come,
drawing it out, his fingers piercing my skin, invisibly,
the last of my resistance seeping away with a hiss.

Favourite this work Favourite This Author

Comments by other Members

Nell at 07:51 on 14 December 2005  Report this post
Helen, welcome to WriteWords. This is wonderful; inventive and original yet infused with a voice one embraces as truth. Beautifully crafted too. What more can I say - I loved it - one to return to.


Sappholit at 11:27 on 21 November 2006  Report this post

I just read this cos it was on the Random Read, so I clicked.

I loved it, too.


Sorry. I'm a prose writer, so I clam up when it comes to offering detailed commentraies on poetry cos I never quite have faith in what I'm saying. But sometimes, 'I loved it' is all the commentary you need.

To post comments you need to become a member. If you are already a member, please log in .