Poppies. Tattoo by Victor J Webster
Poppies in October
Even the sun-clouds this morning cannot manage such skirts.
Nor the woman in the ambulance
Whose red heart blooms through her coat so astoundingly –
A gift, a love gift
Utterly unasked for
By a sky
Palely and flamily
Igniting its carbon monoxides, by eyes
Dulled to a halt under bowlers.
Oh my God, what am I
That these late mouths should cry open
In a forest of frosts, in a dawn of cornflowers.
— Sylvia Plath (27 October 1962)
Today I got the poppies tattooed. I had vaguely remembered the poem but not that the month was October. And, you know, Plath wrote that on her last birthday alive. Her 30th birthday.
I hadn’t looked up the poem before I got the tattoo. I turn 30 next week.
I am, of course, just overthinking this all. It’s just a strange strange coincidence. Also, I am not even in the slightest bit suicidal. So there’s that.
This tattoo, oh, it hurt so bad. SO bad. I hadn’t had my hip tattooed since October 2010 and yeah, there was a reason it took me three years to get the nerve to get another hip tattoo.
Both Victor and Simon Morse complimented me on how well I sit while getting tattooed. Like the terminator, apparently, I just shut down and don’t move. It’s not the most useful talent to have, but I will take it.
But I think my favourite moment was when Victor asked how old I was and, after being told I was a week away from 30, had me repeat myself and then told me he thought I was 23. This baby face of mine is both a blessing and a curse.
Love is the bone and sinew of my curse.