The Fieldstone Review

Landlorn

Poor little mermaid,
wishing so hard
so long;
all she wanted
was to get out
of her wet things,
to get something
dry in her.

Utterly sick of fish and greens
in dreams she sank
her teeth into meals
still dotted with
bits of land,
a gristly something
that bled
down her chin.

She floated under her
tiresome stars, resenting
the intimacy of tides;
she stared up at the sky
and wondered what grass
would feel like, what a man's
hand would feel like, how she
would feel were she warm and real.

She appealed to the networks,
but the camera couldn't catch her;
their instruments failed
to register her soundings
so the mermaid went back
and sank deep,
resurfacing to lie cold
on her rock awhile

with the gods--who were,
after all, just gods--
bobbing around her;
those slippery gods
who looked away
as she dragged a blade down her tail,
and winced
when she didn't bleed.