(c) Nin Harris, 2006 —
Do not let me build dreams
if you will not walk into them.
Do not let me fall into the dark
if you will not be my hurricane lamp.
Do not cast nets if you
would not pull a mermaid out
Let her swim back into the deep.
But if you catch and befriend,
If you watch as she dances; know this.
When she flexes needle-pricked soles that bleed,
When her hips mimic her sister’s undulation
and her hands clap like a sea-mammal in captivity,
It is not because a sea-witch has pulled out her tongue.
It is because she cannot bring herself
to say the words or to move her body
in ways her aquatic self knows best.
So if you catch her, be kind.
Do not still the music, do not stop the dance.
Let her worry the words that squirm,
Like eels at the base of her fear.
Let her pull them out.
(3-10 March 2006)