Novel in the Flesh

My tattoos are memories
Rights of passage into manhood
Homage to the family name

A novel in the flesh

Every one has it’s own story
Good times and bad
People and places

I remember every chapter well

There’s nothing like that first one
It roped me into an underworld
And I had found my tribe

I never did fit in too well anywhere
Until spending some time under the needle
It was as if I had finally come home

But after I got one
It opened the flood gates

I felt unbalanced
So I got one on the other side
That lead to another
And another

Yet I loved every hour of pain

The noise of the machine gave me chills
Plus it always payed off
In the form of something permanent
A tuff lookin’ badge of honor
That I could take to the grave

I was hooked
And I still am

People ask me if I regret them
What I regret is not having more

They also ask how I think I’ll look at 80
My only answer
Way cooler than you

To me
They’re works of fine art in pigmented skin
Beauty in the form of a colored scar
My life in a picture book illustration

If I could go back
I wouldn’t change a thing
I’d even add a few pages

Β©James Dennis Casey IV

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