Someday They Will Ask Me

Nobody taught me how to swim. I’m not saying
it’s someone’s fault, but when a girl goes down
no one’s less surprised than me at the watery
fingers that nape her neck.

The ocean is this kind of hierarchy. Voiceless
at the black sand bottom, resort to banging
rocks against the skulls of those who came
before. I am trying to grow scales, but

it’s them or gills and I can’t stop drowning
in my sleep. The moon rabbit promised to
pound me herbs, but she turned her face
toward the cinnamon tree. He’s never coming.

I saw his teeth clamped on a serpent’s tail.
They weren’t fighting, if you know what I mean.
The beds are made of poisoned anemones,
the pillows of sand-silt pearls.

Everybody knows it’s hard to love a sea god —
never pays the water bills, always stiffs you with
the wrong-pronged fork, can’t fathom one mile
from one step across broken-glass beaches.

But this water witch is the worst of the lot.
Strangle me with a length of kelpen hair, chloroform
me with a closed-mouth mussel. Break the surface
of the waves so I don’t have to see it’s my own damn face.



Image taken with phone at Jewel Box
Words written at Jewel Box
Time Taken less than 10 minutes. I have a busy day.
Brain on moving my ass, gratitude, mermaids, rabbits

This entry was published on March 5, 2012 at 5:23 pm and is filed under March, Poems, Seattle, Self-Portraits. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on “[65]

  1. Shanna, this one is a reminder of how interrelated are all of the arts. It triggered thoughts of Natalie Shau pictures.


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