• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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We bumped into each other
outside Costa.
I apologized for my clumsiness
took her inside for an impromptu cappuccino.
Milk froth, white as sea spray, beaded her upper lip.
I’m a mermaid, she said, and I believed her.

Why not?

Waist-length hair moving with an inner life
like a sea grass forest.
Eyes, luminous as the moon’s trail
across an ocean.
Her voice, sibilant as tides at midnight.
A soft, fishy, iridescence to her skin.

I was totally, painfully in love.

The mermaid left as suddenly as she had appeared.
I watched the sway of her hips as she moved lithely
between tables, thought of a retreating tide
oozing around rocky outcrops on a beach I knew.
Sea-blue, shot-silk skirt clung possessively
to taut, muscular thighs, halted above shapely calves ...

that led my eye down to ...



slender ankles ...
and ….
long narrow feet!
A siren shriek from the coffee machine
reintroduced me to reality.
What kind of mermaid has legs?

Where was her tail?

The fumes of first love dissipated as rapidly the steam
that writhed around the barista and his infernal machine.
I felt confused, humiliated, grief stricken, cheated.
My adored one was a liar.
No mermaid she --

it was patently obvious that she was a Selkie!