The Little Mermaid’s Fortune-Teller

The Little Mermaid’s Fortune-Teller

Refracted through your tide-washed hours, this prince
drifts through algid brine, kelp-wound: his ship has foundered
in your sky. For his sake you discover land, build

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Refracted through your tide-washed hours, this prince
drifts through algid brine, kelp-wound: his ship has foundered
in your sky. For his sake you discover land, build
the castled waves wherein he breathes. (He’ll wake

to a woman who walks like rain, and marry your reflection
in dry eyes.) There is a shore where each step leaves
a print of blood: all along the undertow was listening
for the shadow of his sail, the reefs held out their coral

blades. Gaze into that mirror (above you sea, a sky
below) until the morning you fall through: light changes
color and direction for your sake. Make your bargains
with some witch. There’s a conch shell waiting on the sand

to shred your sole and salt its roar into your landlocked ear,
a shipwrecked whitecap is calling you home.
I could lose myself in those waters, break
like a wave: after three hundred years nowhere

to be found, the knife still dark in my hands,
in my feet and my mute tongue. Call me that foam.

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