I carry an “M” in my mother’s handwriting on my inner arm. The first of many influential M’s in my life, my Mother, Mary. There’s also my grandmother, my goddaughter, my dog and my lover, but it’s the first M who gave me life and has truly been the greatest gift in my life. When I see it, I feel stronger. It also heartens me to think that inside of us, there are generations of mothers whose names we don’t know who brought us to this place.
I thought my mom would be mad when she saw it for the first time. Instead, she hugged me. If you ever need a tattoo artist in Hawaii, I recommend my friend Steven–he’s the only person I trust to permanently mark my body.
Poem: Nayyirah Waheed