Mermaid - Poem by Morgan Michaels
Yet, there it was-
An image composed of droplets composing themselves into focus
Reversible. Itself, of itself, the watery isomer.
Idea given form, however tenuous and fading-
Tail, head, tail, tail, head.
An ancient enigma, certainly not pretty
But in sum, bewitching.
Had it power over men? Could it see me?
Only indirectly, I supposed, as in the water's mirror,
And first I must desire it.
'Choose', said the hologram, sternly, from its high station.
It was as if a hand had suddenly cupped my head.
But what part of the mermaid was I?
The muscular tail that could knock a man clear
Across a quarterdeck, against the rail?
A dangerous tail with a fornix?
Pummeling the floorboards, waterborne no more,
Spectral hues revived with a bucket of sea-water
Glittered like a Roman grotto?
Judgement recoiled from the notion.
The sickening barnacles, sea worts, the loathesome remoras,
Flukes, raggedy, gummed with oily beads
Always needing combing, combing-
I touched my...
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