by Jose Luis Pablo
This poem originally appeared in Katitikan Literary Journal
I cannot remain
The fairytale of the seafoam
Or flicker of maiden’s
Face in the pool.
By your hand,
I churn, fluid
As my temple.
And am I not creature —
Of what surrounds me?
See my disappearing fin,
Camouflaged in synthetic fiber
Call me leviathan.
My ocean body shimmers:
Constellation of seaglass, bottles without messages,
Sunlit scale among silver bellies of wrappers,
Rainbow coral and oil spill, pearl and polystyrene,
Plastic bags bobbing like jellyfish heads.
Now call me Gorgon,
Hair slathered in venom.
Peer into my crystal eyes.
What your future holds.
© Copyright Jose Luis Pablo
Jose Luis Pablo or “Nico” is a poet and a communications manager for a non-profit. Their work has been published in Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature, Cordite Poetry Review (Australia), My Gay Eye (Germany), Busilak: New LGBTQ+ poetry from the Philippines (University of the Philippines Press), The Pinch (USA), and elsewhere, as detailed in joseluisbpablo.wordpress.com. Nico was awarded by the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in 2018 and was a finalist for the 2020 Peseroff Poetry Prize. They are based in Rizal, Philippines.
Read the Rest of the September Issue
- wildgirls by Cislyn Smith
- Seaside Princess by Jordan E. McNeil and Kat Weaver
- The Mermaid Speaks by Jose Luis Pablo
- Send Feet Pics by Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas
- A Stone’s Throw from You by Jenn Reese
- Mermaids of Alabama: An Environmental Assessment by Ellie Campbell
- What Do Merfolk Notice on Land? by Priya Chand
- Puffin Queen by Jordan E. McNeil and Kat Weaver
- Witnessing by Tiffany Morris
- Beyond the Blue by Yuan Changming
- Selkie’s Bones by Marisca Pichette
- Mermaid Galleon by Alex Nodopaka
- A Mermaid Reports from Okeanos by Pat Tompkins
- Water Bites Back by Yvette Lisa Ndlovu
- Freshwater Life by Anne E.G. Nydam
- Mer Crowley Angel by Arrick Corble
- the hunter by Jasmine Arch
- I Swim Up From Below by Sarah Gailey
- The Siren’s Song by Angela Gabrielle Fabunan