Once They Sainted a Mermaid

Chloe N. Clark

It is always the same stories that we tell
of women with fish tails and hair
caught full of seaweed and we
never remember how the feel
of water constant and pressing
must have been. She saw
villages overtaken by waves,
she imagined constellations of star
fish, and when she wept it tasted
the same as the sea and so she never
knew when she was actually sad.
Her fingers caressed the bones of sailors,
drowned in storm or mutiny, and she
thought that men were only skeletons, and she
wondered how they danced, if they clicked
and clattered as they did. She fell in love
with a shark once, but the shark left her
behind, movement was life, forward was
breath. She spent one morning watching
the sky filter down to her and then she
was given the choice between eternity under
and a moment with the sun. And in the
flash of dissolving, of filled with stars, of glow,
she thought she remembered land, how it
was to feel the earth turning beneath her
feet, like dancing.

CHLOE N. CLARK is a MFA candidate in Creative Writing & Environment. Her work has appeared such places as Rosebud, Abyss & Apex, Menacing Hedge, and more. She loves all chupacabras, bakes cupcakes, and likes learning odd facts about magicians. Follow her @PintsNCupcakes

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