• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 08

The Mermaid’s Curse

We knew the arguments by heart,
sang them to poets on the strand
who mistranslated us in ways
which lost all urgent meaning.
We spent years whispering to sailors,
nothing to show for it but combs.
One of us must go on land.

He claimed he was a man of science,
could present me to the Royal Society,
my grave warnings delivered in good time
to save mankind and my beloved ocean.
When all assembled in the lecture room
he pumped water from my dome
to demonstrate some theory of his own.

I breathe the terror of his air and scream:
your breathing world will drown in water.