• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 06

The Origin of Modern Mermaids

There they were,
flailing and sputtering,
seemingly delicate,
but apparently, incredibly strong –
Earthly seraphs
fallen unapologetically from grace,
exiled unremorsefully
to the bottom of the deep blue sea,
like monsters no one could bear to look at,
their god still loving,
still forgiving,
still granting them grace and strength enough
to slowly adapt,
to acclimate,
with each mysterious fathom.

So, they floated,
and they stroked their arms
endlessly but tiresomely,
choking on plastic pollution
as they slowly descended –
gasping, gasping, gasping
for air all the way –
in this, their punishment by men,
for the supposedly egregious sins
of love,
of protesting peacefully for their freedom,
of simply demanding the choice
that they and others so rightfully,


The Origin of Modern Mermaids

so righteously,
deserve –
avenging angels,
freedom fighters,
unrepentant, steadfast, and true.

Men thought that they could stifle them;
that they could silence them;
that they could tame them;
that they could control them,
but as they drifted slowly downward,
as their feet finally touched that dark ocean floor,
their beautiful;
their exquisite;
their lovely
gills, already developed
somewhere along the watery way
on their forced aquatic journey,
breathed a song of revolution,
as their feet and their legs
began to metamorphosize –
glistening peacock-colored tail fins
seemingly magically taking their place,
mermaids borne of a war on women,
just as hundreds –
as thousands –
more took their unintentionally martyred places
back on shore,
back on inland solid ground
both above and below sea level,


The Origin of Modern Mermaids

raising Cain
and causing trouble
just like their Mamas taught them,
fighting peacefully
for the rights turned luxuries they once enjoyed,
for that domino-effect freedom they once took for granted –
a womanly army,
powerfully feminine,
mad as hell,
fury in their faces,
rage in their voices,
determined not to be silenced –
not by crashing ocean waves,
the tide tugging moon cheering them on
from a celestial afar
and most decidedly not by blatantly selfish;
by disrespectful;
by manipulative;
by power-hungry;
by frightening;
by alarmingly controlling men –
men who feared their grace;
men who feared their eloquence;
men who feared their intellect;
men who feared their purpose;
men who feared their power
and greedily wanted it for themselves,
and in their cruel avarice;
in their egotistical gluttony;


The Origin of Modern Mermaids

in their privileged hunger;
they inadvertently galvanized a silent –
a silenced –
a calvary,
borne of menstrual blood;
borne of oppressed fury;
borne of constantly belittled and abused toughness;
borne of motherly fears;
borne of sisterly love;
borne of sweating, painful birthing contractions;
borne of furious steel.

Consequently, it doesn’t matter
how many women they send down below
the soothingly crashing
and rhythmically ebbing and flowing waves.
There will always be more raging ladies
eager to take their place,
uncaring if they are imprisoned in the sea
to become hateful sirens
seeking revenge for their gender
as they lead sailors astray
to suffering and to death,
not unlike their newly forced suffering and
not unlike the death of their most basic freedom.