The Heart Sings a Siren

by Ali Trotta

Be careful, I say,
but some things have
their own persuading current, 
and you are a summer fire escape,
mouth full of matches,
smile welcoming friction,
and I could lean in
just so, crossing
this small ocean of space
between us, new
and yet, dangerously familiar,
or I could look away,
quiet this siren song,
reckless and hungry—
all fog and no lighthouse,
but clearer than the stars
to chart a course by.

Why? you ask,
as if there are no consequences,
as if desire can be easily undone,
the air between us unlaced,
the ocean-rush of our pulses
but our hip-tide
knows the truth,
echoing like a seashell,
steady and miraculous,
the flick of a tongue
on salted skin, holy,
and the gravity from bone 
to bone calls like to like,
and my heart sits
like a shipwreck
in my hand,
imperfect and full of drowning—
will you take it?

© Copyright Ali Trotta

Ali Trotta is a poet, editor, dreamer, word-nerd, and unapologetic coffee addict. Her poetry has appeared in Uncanny, Fireside, Strange Horizons, Mermaids Monthly, and Cicada magazines, as well as in The Best of Uncanny Magazine from Subterranean Press. She has a poem forthcoming in F&SF magazine. Her short fiction has appeared in Curtains, a flash fiction anthology. A geek to the core, she’s previously written TV show reviews for Blastoff Comics, as well as a few personal essays. Ali’s always scribbling on napkins, looking for magic in the world, and bursting into song. When she isn’t word-wrangling, she’s being a kitchen witch, hugging an animal, or pretending to be a mermaid. Follow her on Twitter as  @alwayscoffee, read her blog at, or subscribe to her TinyLetter. Four of her poems were Rhysling Award nominees.

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