Natha Perkins’ “melt”

I don’t know why I chose the word melt. I sat on this question for months but I had a hard time capturing the exact answer from my subconscious. Because I like to operatein a sense of the profound, the lack of a concrete answer drove me crazy. It’s not that the tattoo and the word are irrelevant; I had reasons why I chose to do this but the pieces needed a bit of exploration in order to become a whole.
When I went down the list of available words, it just popped out at me. The singularity of it. The way that—because it’s a single word—it can mean so many things. In the poem written about my beautiful Boulder, my heart and my home, it’s used to describe winter turning into spring and I like that meaning. The cold and frozen stillness of the winter slowly softening and transforming itself, drop by drop, into black and green and sunshine.  Yes, that feels right.
And then there’s the thing about me and boundaries. Sometimes they’re strong and sometimes I can’t find a single one anywhere I look. There are days when I’m stuck in rigidity and I’m decided and I’m unbending; irritation rears its ugly head. I feel self-righteous and uncaring, but underneath those sharp thorny feelings is a heart that’s throbbing with perceived powerlessness and desperation. I know that on these days, I’m being issued a challenge; I’m asked to look for edges. The sharp edges of hard and old walls that signify something going on deep within, which requires a little softening and a little melting. An easing of the habitual self-protection and a melting of the discomfort.  In order to align, I must.
And the times when I have no boundaries? The people to whom I can’t say no and the decisions that literally take months to make. The years that pass as I’m not paying attention.  The tendency to enter into relationships and merge so totally that I become them and they become me. The emotions that I pick up from the people around me, the excitement of a crowd or the discontent of a group. The times that I know exactly what someone is thinking and I know exactly what they feel in their hearts and I know exactly what their story is and the places they’ve been and the direction of their thoughts because of a single glance into their eyes. What about those times? Those are the times that I am without boundaries. I’m melting, I’ve melted. The periphery of my brain and body and soul are fluid and porous, transparent, non-existent.
And then there’s the placement of the tattoo itself. That part came after the actual choice of the word but I don’t think that matters. I chose the spot because the word was to become a permanent part of me, and I knew that it needed a place on my skin that was both hidden and exposed. Some people get to see it and some do not. Some will get to know this tattoo intimately and others will never even know of its existence. The word itself is also a symbol of my sexuality; there could be no other way. Words are sensual things for me. The way they roll off the tongue, the way they conjure up intensity. It’s taken me years to get to know myself in relation to my sexuality. It’s taken a lot of words and it’s been an opening and exhilarating journey. The boundaries that I spoke of earlier were at times present and standing guard, but often they were absent, untouchable. This exploration and examination of who I am, the discovery of my comfort in such separate ways of being, has taught me much. The tattoo itself, placed on the dip between my upper thigh and lower hip, makes the inherent sensuality of the word blossom, and that was what I wanted. Melt. I wanted a single word that had the ability to convey words and sentences, paragraphs and novels. Because that is what my sexuality and my very life represent to me. Both are finite and infinite, have boundaries and are boundary-less. They are, I am, the winter melting into spring.”

Natha is a Boulder native and has been loving this city from the inside out since the day she was born here. She is a metalsmith and designs for the jewelry brand Luscious Metals. She is also a holistic life coach and writer. You can find her metal at and her writing at

Natha Perkins

Natha Perkins’ “melt”

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