If You Hadn’t Gone

Susan Butler


If you hadn’t gone
I wouldn’t know the taste of salt,
the keenness of the memory of skin.

If you weren’t gone
I wouldn’t know the emptiness of air from my lungs,
how the mind shrieks when its world burns,
how memory burns like falling stars;

I wouldn’t know the blue shades of late evening
as the sea roars on
and swells away from me
to find you in the place
you’ve gone.



Susan Butler is a British-Polish artist and writer. First a graphic designer who ran her own design studio, Susan then spent her life traveling the world. After settling in Germany for a decade, Susan moved to the US to study world cultures and languages. Her work as a poet and artist reflects her exploration of the interactions between the psyche, nature and the metaphysical, her fascination with universal human connection, and delves into the psychological effects of abuse and grief. Susan writes fiction and poetry in French, English and Arabic. A small sample of her work can be found on her website www.ouisuzette.com and she is @ouisuzette on social media.