“a sea-like condition”

by Felicia Martinez

call me the woman with skin of stone
the statue-armed woman 
the ichthyosaur 
a woman with scales on her heavy-set thighs
swaying sweet as sea foam on the tides

call me the woman with pearl husks in her hair
call me piscine-boned
call me barnacle-shelled
my breasts are rough shod in gray coral sheathes
like smoked quartz
like new diamond

call me the woman of plaque-skin and brine
call me paddle-hands
call me fish-fleshed, fin-spined
call me sea monster
call me all

I have known and bear them all 
small fantasies next to mine
of stone talons that guard the sea

I am Siren’s daughter

call me mermaid
call me undine
call me the woman that walks on water

© Copyright Felicia Martinez

Felicia Martinez (she/her) is a Latinx author and educator living in the California Bay Area. Her academic interest in the relationships between conceptions of personhood and narrative experimentation carries over to her love of crafting non-traditional story structures and points of view in fiction and poetry. When she is not leading seminar discussions with her curious undergrads, she can be found trying to write under the watchful eye of a cat named Bat.

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