Jellyfish Sting

Jellyfish Sting


In Japanese, there are thirteen words for forever,

“beyond time,” “as long as one likes,”

and “unchangeably.”


So, I trace each word in the wind,

each replaced by the image of you

on an empty beach as I step

on jellyfish hidden in the sand.


No one ever tells you how much it will sting

and when and for how long.


Your mom in her dining room teaches me

the many words for rain, for walking, for to love



But sometimes my body betrays me, imagining

my pupils expanding in the dark,


the tiger raise of sempiternity mornings,

the sun perking up through colored petals,

shaping stripes into patterns on the walls. 


And when I want to admit it,

to give it up, I remember other ways

my body has betrayed me —

our hands clasped like bells, my moans

sliding blankly up the wall, the red

lights of traffic outside.


In Japan, because jellyfish hide their stings,

it's impossible to predict a wrong step, 

to walk over to you and tell you what I want

to tell you even though your body knows

perfectly well what that will be.



Damaris Sulser is a 20-year-old artist based in Switzerland. Sulser has always been inspired by nature, especially the ocean. Due to her love for the sea, her works are mostly painted in different tones of blue. Sulser likes to use a wide range of different media, in order to vary in colour, style and texture. What inspires her most are the abstract-like dimensions of nature like the depth of the sea, the broadness of the horizon or the regularity of the waves. Exploring the borders between nature and abstraction is what gives her work a phenomenological touch and even evokes philosophical questions. Instagram @moanart

Megan Gieske is a wandering poet. From her home in the United States, she has traveled the world as an artist and advocate, telling stories that bring people closer together. Follow her poetry journey @MeganGieske.