The Mermaid

The things he did with others were
impossible with her, poor fish with a face.
She could not comprehend one word he said
and had not mastered the art of mimicry.

But when the moon shone on her perfect skin
or water trailed in droplets from silvered scales
in emeralds and amethysts, he found himself
bewitched beyond all twitches of revulsion.

Not a sound from her mute throat, and yet
her gray eyes' depths swallowed all vestiges
of cruelty or intellect. Her nakedness
disarmed him as she flailed on golden sand

and caught her breath in that sad dance of one.
She righted herself in waves that swept
her farther from shore, swam gladly toward
the horizon. When at last he slept, he dreamed

she walked across the water, back to him.

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