I'll let Alicia explain the story behind this beautiful piece:
This tattoo was done by an artist named Shay Bredimus at Outer Limits Tattoo and Body Piercing in Long Beach, California, the city where I was raised and educated. I had always known I wanted a tattoo, but I could never settle on exactly what I wanted. When I went in to Outer Limits, I still didn’t know. I decided flowers were pretty and timeless and could mean whatever I wanted them to mean. I decided on a peony because I had just seen my first one and fallen in love with it. I didn’t know what peonies symbolized, and I didn’t want to know. I decided I had a lifetime to figure out what it meant to me.I was getting my MFA in fiction writing, and when I met Shay he told me he had his MFA in painting. For hours we talked about art and literature and grad school and our lives. It was the best tattooing experience I could have hoped for, and I fell in love with the finished product immediately. As I was leaving he invited me to his gallery. I went when he wasn’t there. His pieces were huge, each one taking up the better part of a wall, and they were exquisite and done in black tattoo ink only. I wrote him an email telling him how amazing I thought his art was, and he asked me to come back in for touch ups, and that’s when he added the cherry blossoms.
In addition to this tattoo, Alicia is sharing the following poem, "Red Room," which was originally published in The Mas Tequila Review:I buy cherry blossom shampoo now and cherry blossom soap. It’s a silly thing maybe, but it makes me feel pretty and reminds me that I am part of a work of art.
Thanks so much to Alicia for sharing her tattoo and poem with us here on Tattoosday's Tattooed Poets Project!