South African writer Megan Ross debuted her poetry collection earlier this month. The collection, Milk Fever, is published by Uhlanga Press, an independent Cape Town-based press known for publishing Koleka Putuma’s bestselling poetry collection Collective Amnesia.
Enjoy this poem from the collection.
“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.”
—Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities.
I sewed your name into my
heel. I was 15 and a
fool, I let it swim under
my skin & breathe smoke into
my veins, confusing the heat
with something living, not a
dead star orbiting wet ga
laxies. I didn’t know then
that we were rivers: that we
would trace our blood to the same
source & swim south toward the
ocean, that you would ragged
tooth this world from my body
& spit helium into
my blood-wetted lungs. Did I
somehow mistake your fist for
love, and eel it inside my
mouth, press my anemone
tongue to your heliotrope
teeth? Or did we simply burn
our December skins, reli
shing their Coca-Cola blanch 15
& shining pink. Small eyes blink
ing for the first time inside.
Each brand new cut: our begging
for voice; the fetid blisters
cursed to scales, our slashed wrists re
sisting the gills we longed for.
Tempting as vodka, broken
as glass, we lost our legs to
tails; wrote our names in next-day
vomit. Lone holography.
That was the summer we closed
around each other like stone
walls, thinking love immortal,
as if we were speaking the
language of our futures and
not the ancient light of stars.
We didn’t know that in this
drowning world our skins are salt
& desert is the song of
girls unborn, who soon dream of
their own small deaths. We thought mood
rings fair trade for mulberries;
laddered arms friendship’s true price.
We split our lot with fish &
left our bodies to the sun.
HOW TO GET YOUR COPY OF MILK FEVER (R180.00):
If the book is NOT in stock, please ORDER it with these details:
Milk Fever by Megan Ross, published by uHlanga in 2018. Very important is the ISBN number: 978-0-620-79227-1
You can also obviously order via Amazon, too.
2) OUTSIDE OF SOUTH AFRICA: