"I got this tattoo rather impulsively in the fall of 2008 in Syracuse, New York, at the excellent Halo Tattoo. I had recently found out that my surname came with a motto, Spero meliora, which translates to 'I hope for better things.' I just thought it was hilarious and apt that the Lowe family motto pronounced to merely hope, while so many other family mottoes announce intentions to destroy, maim, annihilate, etc. The motto seemed like a weirdly accurate summation of my Irish Catholic ancestors, who were overall a suffering bunch, from coal miners to morphine addicts to alcoholics to religious fanatics to general melancholics. Better things--that’s not much to ask for, and they asked so nicely. It really killed me. "Bridget was also kind enough to send us this poem:
The villagers are reading hot guts
and drinking tonics. I’m relaxing
on a rock, sunning my midsection,
my delicate white legs.
The palm trees stand stiff
in the wind, archaic, shyly optimistic,
foreign. A Cuban boy
presents me with a muffin, his homeland
a mere neck’s-turn away.
My hair blows this way
and that, as if I’m the featured guest
in a music video from my childhood.
For every broken heart, one golf course.
Everything comes out even.
The birds call me by name
and while I’m distracted, fish heap themselves
into my basket. And the loaves,
the loaves! They multiply.
~ ~ ~
Bridget Lowe is the author of At the Autopsy of Vaslav Nijinsky (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, The New Republic, Ploughshares, The Best American Poetry (2011), and elsewhere. She has received a "Discovery"/Boston Review award and fellowships to attend The MacDowell Colony and the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. She lives in Kansas City.
Thanks to Bridget for sharing her poem and tattoo with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!
This entry is ©2013 Tattoosday. The poem and tattoos are reprinted with the poet's permission.