by Nessa Mercieca

A string of buoys holds a net up
If they were heads, their eyes would be underwater
They’re like the raised pearl-necklace welts of a bluebottle sting
A necklace you wear under your skin
As the sky and the sea darken I see another string of lights cling to the shore
And another on the horizon
Dinh gi khong?* I imagine they’d both ask me.
Yes, I would tell them if they asked me.
I listen to their pure conflict
Crush – stretch – heal – arc – crush

I watch this coast behave in a way my coast doesn’t

I skirt the edges of countries
I get to a place and then make as if to leave it, I go to its very edge
Travelling like something in a clothes-dryer

My coast is convex
this coast is concave
Which means I can see it in the distance – unwrapping
layer by layer
the layers beyond holding less and less ink
The longer you look, the more layers of distant peninsula materialise
And dusk erases them, starting with the furthest

*is there anything stuck? (in my teeth or on my face)

Nessa Mercieca is a writer and illustrator. She makes her own creative residencies by living in other people’s houses while they are away and feeding their pets. She likes to compare people’s spice-racks. Nessa is currently writing a book in self-isolation. She wants her poems to give you a sense of travel, without a sense of place.