I was born in the cold
of the waters, shivering and crying
in the embrace of an armless mother, wrapping around me too tight,
too warm, too hard, too much.
Everything was too much and I
was drowning in it.
I was born drowning.
There was blood on my body then,
and in my mouth,
on my teeth and tongue,
when you hit me yesterday.
When you said it would never be enough.
But no price is too much,
not for you.
I would pay anything, anything
to be by your side,
to feel your flames licking my heart.
I am full of cinders and
trees born from nothing and dying
painted purple by a battlefield blessing,
plum kisses on hands and wrists and forehead,
salt in the air, in your tears, from
the sea on my skin, always.
Write me a hymnal for all the things we must forget,
a rhyme for all to be stolen,
for each barbed wire and rust
sunset painted on my skin in the desert’s forgiveness.
Because it will forgive me, in the end.
It always does.
And when my body rises, darkly,
from a sand and calcite tomb,
for the ocean always reclaims what it has given,
and even its gifts bear a price.
i’ve been thinking about mermaids and traditional selkie/slyph folklore a lot recently