Poem: Mermaids

The mind is a pool and you can dive
under, you can plumb the depths of it
until the ocean bed switches places
with the sky, only a pressing space
against every inch of your skin, cold
and oddly booming until you drown.

You don’t want this fate for yourself, but
riptides are deceptive. They look like peace
but then they peel you out of the shore’s reach.
That’s why we say: Don’t leave the harbor.
Don’t have these thoughts. Stay safe on the land.
But something of the sea pulls us to her,

that exciting salt tang, the mysteries held
like a pearl in the shell. Some of us
fancy ourselves mermaids: I’m one such,
just a drowning woman wreathed in seaweed
against the beating shores of my pulse
the shine of water roofing the sky.

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