Her voice belonged to the waves;
It always had.
When she opened her mouth,
To lick her salt-crystal lips
With a tongue of glimmering scales,
Sea foam poured out of her,
Along with parts of forgotten songs
And little bits of forbidden rhyme.
When she was a child
She would hold her breathe for as long as she could,
And behold the refracted light of the sun
From beneath the water’s skin.
She would watch the blue sky of the dry world above
Undulate and shimmer
As if there were nothing there at all to separate this watery space
From the parched everyday world,
As if it all existed as one beneath the moon-possessed ebbing and flowing
Of the tides.
She would sing a song every time a cloud passed by,
But she always left it behind,
On the sea floor amid the fish skeletons and shark teeth.
Deep under the water that night,
She reached up to pluck from the sky,
The hottest, farthest star she could find,
And nestled it into her sea anemone heart.
She let it pulsate there,
Sensing herself expand from that single point inside,
And could feel her skin pock like the surface of sun-bleached coral
As the white-hot light from that star pushed through the porous surface of her body
And through the fluttering gills of her throat.
Her voice poured out of her once more,
And it belonged to the waves
And the shadow-drenched sea floor.