Poetry | Merge

Words by Melissa Sussens and image by Dave Mann

Ja. magazine
Published in
2 min readJun 15, 2019

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Sometimes I wish I never
knew the soft way a woman could bloom
beneath the ballet of my fingertips.
The sharp intake of breath
and hold
before the gush.
The way air in the lungs can become
an inflatable lifeboat before the fall.

Sometimes I wish I never
knew the way two hands could jigsaw
together like yin and yang, cheese and tomato.
The way a single bed could stretch
to become a land mass,
a home,
a perfect island crafted
from mattress and body fluids.

Sometimes I wish I never
knew the atomic bomb
of butterflies that could be released
by a smile. The way lips
can become magnets;
a chest a castle of rest,
a woman your favourite
inhale,
your most constant centre
of balance.

Sometimes I wish I never
knew that loss could shrink a universe,
could cause the Big Bang in reverse,
could un-create the world,
leave only deserts of grief
and desolation.

Sometimes I wish I never
knew the word merge.
Had not tasted it on my tongue.
Had not cradled it in my arms.
Had not let it become my most sacred
dream, my most lonely
undoing.

Melissa Sussens is a veterinarian and poet based in Cape Town. She performed at the Poetry in McGregor festival in 2018 and her poems have been published by Germ Magazine, Ja. Magazine and Odd Magazine.

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