In the moonlight, when all on board were asleep…she sat on the deck, gazing down through the clear water
—Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid
I am weary of the sound of water.
It never completely envelops me
the way it should anymore
and yet, it never subsides.
The lure of it maddens,
makes me lose track
of my fingers and palms
in the rivulets of my hair.
I stare at nothing and all things
both longing for and miserable
with the strain of the water
Before him, I never noticed
the way it constantly rushes
around and ebbs too loud—it fills
the inner ear, conjures distant
and vast memories of submerged
I have forgotten myself above,
here among the two-legged
mumble-tongues who do not know
the songs of my sisters
surging through the surface
of the sea that find a way, even here,
to eclipse me and the moon.
I would kill him if I could--
isn’t that what I’ve learned here?
You kill only what you love?
Then I do not love him enough.
I love the only thing I have left--
less important than the voice
I sold for legs, but it’s all I own
worth killing more.