the mermaid

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in piratical waters their
labyrinthine nets
hold my wrists restricted in fists

with a clam clasped in claw my only
weapon, my only
hope a hypothetical pearl
that I could not have crafted,

a thing not man made. I won’t know
what’s inside until I force it open.

still, I wish on itself
that it dribbles out onto dark oak sole
in opalescent aura,

a buoyant star
in a sinking sky,
distracting the men that marvel at me,

eyes wider than moons, wider
than their glutinous bottle tops

watching me, an aqua thing
a drowned damsel
on their parched land

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