• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 03
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Not Singing

There was nothing to be done. The mermaids had come and they were not going back. I welcomed them to the swim in which I floated, its enamel walls, its view of the cliffs on which the mermaids used to sit, brushing their hair, keening for shipwrecks that never arrived. The cliffs were crumbling, they said, although I could not see it from here. When I called them sirens they corrected me: sirens are not we, and though we used to sing, the wind now refuses to carry our music. I asked why they had left the ocean to come here, and they said hush: for the ocean is shallow and your bath is very deep, and we have fled the falling land and we may not go home again and there is nothing to be done. I turned the hot tap on and answered: let this be your home.