by Lorraine Schein
This poem previously appeared in Star*Line, Summer 2020
Under all seas,
my wings branch red filigree.
Redder than the sun’s reflection on the sea
where insolent mermaids bask
naked as seals on thrusting rocks
taunting passing sailors shamelessly,
flaunting my bright polyps as their jewelry.
My eyes are bioluminescent deep water,
the green glowing dark of ocean trenches.
I shelter scared fish who seek refuge in me
and sometimes save a drowning human to be
my captured changeling for company.
To create a child I bud myself asexually–
break a calcium bloom into fragments of me
or spew eggs from my mouth to build a new colony.
If you touch me, I calcify,
wings perished to white.
Bleached to a ghost, brittle-boned
no more can I spread my red wings through the sea.
© Copyright Lorraine Schein
Lorraine Schein is a New York writer. Her work has appeared in VICE, Terraform, Strange Horizons, Enchanted Conversation, NewMyths, and Eye to the Telescope, and in the anthologies Tragedy Queens: Stories Inspired by Lana del Rey & Sylvia Plath and XVIII: Stories of Mischief & Mayhem. The Futurist’s Mistress, her poetry book, is available from Mayapple Press: www.mayapplepress.com
Read the Rest of the April Issue
- The Coral Fairy by Lorraine Schein
- The Undersea Crossing Guard by Lorraine Schein and Kris Herndon
- After Atlantis by Lorraine Schein
- The Lady in the Lake by Lorraine Schein
- Gothmaid by Annie Taylor
- The Mermaid’s Dilemma by Michael Angelo Stephens
- Caught by Stevie Rose Maguire
- Cold Weather Accessories for Imaginary Creatures by Lorriane Schein and Kris Herndon
- Bathyscape by S. Brackett Robertson
- Blonde Mermaid by Denisse Di Stelle
- My Little Mermaid by Lorraine Schein
- The Collector by Tara Campell
- Mischievous by Dianita
- The Many Mermaids of Fiction by J. D. Harlock
- Wistful by Annie Taylor
- A Minnow, or Perhaps a Colossal Squid by C. S. E. Cooney and Carlos Hernandez
- The Fin(e) Print by Meg Frank
- Wanted: New Captain & Crew by Julia Rios