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Published: 2360 days ago

Poem of the Day: Sarah Maria Griffin, My initials tattooed on his chest

my initials tattooed on his chest

(the same initials as his guitar)

i saw a video on cassette once, maybe in 2003
(vhs was dead by then, this was a resuscitated relic, a fossil)
full of the antics of my then-favourite band
skinny early nineties heroin beautiful looking
boys in dresses

i gazed through 15 year old eyes then at a man
with brown veins and a face like chiselled marble
lips with a perfect cupid’s bow
shoot me with those lips
shoot me up with those lips

he stood by a dark grim fishtank
in the grey of the grainy screen
‘this is my pet eel, wanna see him do a trick?’

he reached his hand into the murky waters capturing
within a moment a long, black, living thing
and in a high teen heartbeat
smacked it three times off a table
and the tape slowed, and blurred, and cut

i remember my own lip reacting to his madness
curling not kissing this time
wondering why didn’t the black snake electrocute him

climb into his hard veins and teach him
shock his fucking system
like he shocked me this time more than every time

though i suppose now
and i never knew it then
that eel got him bad long before the tape even started rolling

Sarah Maria Griffin has a nose ring and a first collection of poetry, Follies, that’s just been published by Lapwing, Belfast. She’s finished her Masters in Writing from NUIG and has spent the last 9 months preparing herself for unemployment. Her blog is at

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