Gigi Thibodeau


Its skin insists,
stings, as nails dig
in and fingers
taste, an instant
before tongue,
the bitter pith and sweet,
corded flesh.

Long after the mouth’s
dumb muscle has gone
on to sour or salt,
fingers repeat the scent
of skin
they have stripped
and learned by heart.


Gigi Thibodeau is a writer and photographer whose poems and articles have appeared in The Birmingham Poetry Review, River Styx,Virginia Woolf Miscellany, Artful Blogging, Marvels and Tales: Journal of Fairytale Studies, and elsewhere.  Her poetry collection,Learning to Tell Time, won the Midnight Sun Chapbook Award from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Among other awards she has received are the Judith Seigel Pearson Award from Wayne State University for fiction and for essay, and the Editor’s Prize from Mid-American Review.  She teaches creative writing in the online program at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where she also served as the Jack Kerouac Writer-in-Residence.  Her most recent photographs are currently being shown at the Chelsea Underground Art Gallery in Chelsea, Michigan.  She blogs at

Why poetry matters: “Because it gives us a chance to consider carefully the names we give to experience, to hold the sound and weight of words in our bodies, to carry an image with us always.”