Posts tagged mastectomy

Breast Cancer Survivors Find the Michelangelo of Nipple Tattoos

In the waiting room of Little Vinnie’s Tattoos, bikers and punks sit side by side with church-going grandmas and soccer moms. Customers fly in from as far as Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Brazil, to an unassuming strip mall just outside of Baltimore complete with tanning salon, liquor store, and adult DVDs. Anxiously, they enter Vinnie Myers’ shop, the final destination for many breast cancer survivors attempting to recover what mastectomies have stolen away.

For all of medicine’s advances, the best option for areola reconstruction is tattooing, and in the field of cosmetic tattooing, Vinnie’s trompe-l’oeil “areola portraits,” as he calls them, are widely regarded as the best that money can buy.

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it will be an honour
to bathe the scars.
don’t think my tears imply
an ounce of sorrow -
only joy
could fill my eyes.

it will be a pleasure
to hold you close.
know this - your precious flesh
calls the bluff on gold
and silver -
makes me a king.

it will be a delight
to talk with you
into the night we thought
stolen, clean away -
until day
renews our hope.

it would be too heartless
if all this love,
these sinner’s prayers and more
should fall to nothing
more than rain
on empty streets.