confessions of the wrong tattoo

confession: i’ve spent three years searching for the artist to ink my next tattoo. i’ve found her in philadelphia, the right artist but the wrong tattoo. i know before she’s designed my idea that it will be the wrong tattoo, inked in black instead of color, but i’ve committed to getting the wrong tattoo because i admire her style and i haven’t fucked up in a while and i learn more from fucking up than getting it right, so i’ll get the wrong tattoo from the right artist and see what i learn next. tattoos are permanent only if one is unwilling to have the inked skin burned off, which hurts more than tattooing, but i’m not afraid of pain or lasers burning my flesh and my desire to learn is ignited. i trust my mistakes, as lessons, to transform into exactly what i’m meant to understand, have, be, and do.

confession: nine days ago my youngest cousin among the ones that are double-family (blood-related and chosen) picked me up from the airport and took me directly to the liquor store for whiskey and then shopping because in my pms hormonal state, i hated all my clothes and half of everything that passed through my field of vision. he was exceedingly patient with me all weekend, looking out for what i needed most (an arm to lean on while walking in stupidly tall high heels, a flask in the parking lot before church, two cups of tea after church to rehydrate before more drinking transpired during easter dinner). i’m sure i thanked him, but not enough. i can never thank him enough for his intuitive caretaking of me, honoring my vulnerability and raw heart, bridging the gaps i can’t cross by myself when my awkwardness prevents me from connecting in the ways i long to.

confession: reading about found poems, my understanding incomplete, i write a poem about misunderstandings sourced in my experience without borrowing words from outside sources, which exemplifies a pattern in my life–doing it my way, incorrectly, alone, never lonely but restless and incomplete.

confession: monday morning scrolling through social media and liking all the pictures i’d missed in my three-day hiatus because i holed up inside myself, my apartment, my work, without making room for other people’s joy, saving up my relish of their joy for monday morning to boost my motivation to finish what i’ve started because i’m heading back south later this week.

confession: he called it a visit. i perceive it as one-third of my life that i live there.


About angel joy

love is an action verb. i live love in action.
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