Siren of the Little Mermaid

By Ramisa Raya
Mermaid by Pixabay, poem on Right Now magazine

Silently; I shatter

into dark noirs of the sea

every time your knuckles

strike my cheek—

 

Because for you,

I once surrendered

my sirenic voice—

 

Unaware your heart

is a concaved,

stone mirror—

 

So

when dawn kisses,

I leave:

 

Two sculptured legs,

one decayed heart,

and you.

 

femininity & salt water

 

 

When you were eight,

a great fall from an oak tree

covered you in black and blue.

 

Your father knelt down

and slashed your handkerchief.

 

He touched your shoulder:

‘You are a man now’

 

and handed you

a hammer.

 

*

 

For years,

run this infinite loop

like a machine:

 

if

your eyes leak,

 

then

hammer heart

 

until

unconscious

 

You are a man now.

 

*

 

Until

the cycle breaks.

 

In the soft hum of two a.m.,

your heart awakes and

weeps

weeps

weeps—

 

Silence.

 

You

trade your hammer

for matches.

 

*

 

(stitched into

the charred, gaping hole)

 

She becomes

your acorn—

 

(in between

sledgehammers

and trails of petrol)

 

once again

your chest is

a cleft.

 

*

 

Before

her metallic tail

flicks for the last time,

 

she leaves only

seven words:

 

‘old habits

die hard

 

just like

you.’

 

masculinity & oak trees

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