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The mermaid swimming

                        between mossy roots

in my backyard looks

                        me in the eye and winks.

I yank the curtains off

the rod and shatter the bedroom window.

Leviathan whisper-shouts my name.

                        Syllables drip off

the tongue, slide

                        past teeth wrapping

around my neck.

I dive down his spiral coils

and swim.

                        Twisted scales undulate

around a temple wall.

                        I slip through a gap

and tumble into a window.



Clerics chase me

            down the mildewing hall.

I clutch dirty dishes

            under my robe.


A sharp turn

            and a splintered wall

disrobes me.

Silverware clatters.

I crawl down

                        the hallway

the rough carpet

scrapes my knees.




I stand in the garden

                                    and brush parsley off

my skin. Between my fingers

                                    thyme crumbles and blows

out of my hand. I smell my palms

embrace the gray scent.

Posted 01/23/15
Labyrinth first appeared in the October 2010 issue of Electric Velocipede. It can also be found in the collection Antler Woman Responds.
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