• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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How to Catch a Mermaid in Four Simple Steps

1. Draw a bath by the sea.
A clawfoot tub with gold finishes
As the gleam may catch their attention
When the sun sparkles on the faucet.

2. Add salts, not the scented ones
But the pure sea salt that dissolves
Like magic, not a chemical reaction,
And the delicate smell wafts out to sea
Where it might tickle their nostrils.

3. Drop in a seal or two.
Feed them pickled herring and smoked oysters
To encourage them to sing
The seal song of welcome
That the mermaids love so much.

4. Then climb into the warm water
And wait
Until your own hair grows long
And your fingers wrinkle up like plump raisins
And your legs feel heavy like a mermaid's tail.

Then, if you are lucky,
The mermaids will come to investigate
This perfect sea of salt and seals
With a creature not unlike themselves.


How to Catch a Mermaid in Four Simple Steps

Only then
Will they climb up onto your palms
Sitting like little sparrows
While you feed them seaweeds chips,
Sea urchin tea and snail cakes.
Then with their sleepy tummies full
You can put them in your bucket
And carrying them home.