The Sea-Girl’s Undertows


Image result for old painting mermaid

One naked, pink-shell ear is his

Words made of spice and rumbling

He sounds like hills she’s never seen

Conifer fires, fragrant humming

She gleans dark loam from his smile

Far from the sand and rocks and waves

Warmth drawing her from whitecaps

An effervescent nature stayed

Salt glitters on cheeks, on eyelids

As pale and slight as he is hearty

Her kelp hair like matted feathers

Eyes blue, bewitched and longing

She listens although cracks spider

Over her lips and back and hair

Heart burning out of the water

That kept her sleek and fair

And she listens to him still

After he has journeyed on

One pink-shell ear turned white

Sowing undertows of want

~

Elizabeth Cook, 2018

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