First Poem for You

By Kim Addonizio b. 1954 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. Used by permission of BOA Editions, Ltd, www.boaeditions.org.

Source: The Philosopher’s Club (BOA Editions Ltd., 1994)

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Poet Kim Addonizio b. 1954

Subjects The Body, Love, Nature, Relationships, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

 Kim  Addonizio

Biography

Kim Addonizio was born in Washington DC, the daughter of a former tennis champion and a sports writer. She attended college in San Francisco, earning both her BA and MA from San Francisco State University, and has spent much of her adult life in the Bay Area. She currently lives and teaches workshops in Oakland, California. Addonizio has received numerous awards for her work, including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT The Body, Love, Nature, Relationships, Desire, Realistic & Complicated

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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