• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 08

No Mermaid

No Selkie, this sad
tattered specimen
more like a dehydrated fish
brown with age
brittle as dry leaves
and old paper
a clever scarecrow
stitched and stuffed
and hung up under glass
its monkey face frozen
in an eternal scream.

Nothing here that could tempt
even the loneliest sailor
to abandon ship.
Nothing of the sleek
flash and dive,
of smooth bodies in dark water.
Nothing that could fool us
who have seen them
shining in the moonlight,
and heard their songs,
long as the songs of whales,
an enchantment
older than our earliest
wordless dreams
before we knew we could
breathe air.