An elegy for voices Ariel traded for legs

by Agwam Kessington


my boy, 
where I come from, life moltens;
we do not envy the presence of air.
my father said life lost meaning 
at the sight of the sands

but i disagree. 

for, your body, it reminds me of wars—
of times my father sank his trident 
into the chests of men who will
never visit home again.

my gills harden at the sight of you,
but note — I am not Ariel,
i will not fall for you. 
I will not trade my tail
for hairy fingerlings 

just to be with a man, 
who can one day,
choose another land maiden. 

but I admit, i regret culture 
for every moment I spend inside this water, 
craving the air in your lungs 

where at night, palm trees will dance
& under the sheets, our bodies will follow.

my boy, there is a rift between my tongue and pride
shuffling my heart, like a magician, before you, 
is pretty tricky 

& if it means having to watch you
at evenings 
while you load your boat

so be it. 

—but i will give you fish.

© Copyright David Ishaya Osu


Agwam Kessington is a budding poet and an aggressive writer. He is the Author of the crime drama, Sons of Hades. When he’s not writing, he watches anime. You can find him on twitter, @TheAgwam


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