New Poetry by Tamara Suskic

I expected to be banished

I waited for the hunt, and that hunt built me


Yes, we heard your father’s name

You are some sort of a bastard

I wish

We spit in your mouth

We choke on you

We might come

We can find you

We laugh your head off

You make us cry but we don’t

Our  saliva upon your face

Our warm saliva on your warm face


He had to be nice to everyone in order to survive.

Kids will crush me

Put your mother’s name in all your documents

Yes, we heard your father’s name

How the hell did he manage to stay here

How did you climb that high

The kids will crush me

We gave him different names

He also lied about his name

The most common was Sasha

He had to modify his name

to bleach it

so that truncated form of his name became the name

and that stump of his became the name

His name asleep

He had to be very very nice

or else

They didn’t burge in as we were expecting

It was a fortified town

and his name tucked in


somewhere else

if somewhere

Holding the key round my neck on a yellow shoelace

Let go of her neck

It was just a joke

It was during the lunch break

They found out his name

Now they know his name

When did that happen?

What happened?

Nobody saw anything

Please don’t do anything

I hope she is ok, said a very decent voice

a very dark voice

a very deep voice

a very deeply concerned voice

a very deceitful voice

Grab her, said the boy

It was that simple

A sudden attack made from a concealed position

from a ditch  

some of them just wanted to touch and to be touched

some of them just wanted to watch

some of them just wanted a relief from all that anger

some of them just wanted to have a little bit of fun

some of them wanted to punish to punish to punish

most of them just wanted to feel what others do


what’s that happening to their jaws and their shoulders

all the swamp vegetation transplanted on their chest, belly and thighs

slow-moving waters spreading more adult odor


There was a shortcut through the swamp,

but we had to pass through the yard of the Gangs that lived there

in a cardboard house

mad glued

like a tiny dorm

with suitcases instead of a wardrobe

and rugs as walls, floor and cealing

dark almost black rugs but of somewhat relief

nothing neighbourly about it

nothing maternal about it


why did you then

rub your face against them

as if you knew

as if you knew the name

as if you had that name

as if we shared the same egg-shaped head,

the rugs half-barbecued or bleached

as if we drank and spit the milk we shared

and through their muddy yard full of mud and muck

frog croaking, loose dogs, spoilt milk,

our paths crossed  like sticks do


It was because of a name

Oh yes, they are sultan’s daughters

you are an 11 year old whore

it was because of a name

whole thing was caught in a tangle

under the pressure of my body I could feel myself as a very heavy boot

a heavy heavenly boot

a heavier boot

anyway, you are lucky you are alive

we are gonna drawn you in the mud

let’s follow them!

oh, they are waiting for me

you smell of drowning

you ain’t no lambs

My name is Sasha, he said

and she swallowed it

hearing barking in her mouth

of the dogs which never came




Tamara Suskic,

Author of three books of poetry and the co-author of two published and staged plays. Currently engaged in a project/collaboration with a composer.

Lives in Belgrade.


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