The New Selkies

Mermaid 1542 Emblemata, Alciati

Over the side girls
That’s where you’ll find us
Below the waves
In the thick silence of Oceania

A slight pressure
Frigid waters
Set a heart on fire straight

Few intrusions beget us here
Violations to a minimum
We glide like mermaids
calling to no one
A seaweed diet,
fathoms of source protein

Sleek as selkies
Sonorously sedate
Moving with every ripple
Not a wrinkle on us

Over the side girls
Habitat undaunting
Figures of unison
Harbingers of grace

We tweak the imagination
High pitch of rattling
Not a day goes by
without purpose

Porcelain goddesses
we are not
Trappings of mercantile madness
Hardened steel from foundries
Reconfigured world
in the mist of time
We dwell where intent shifts
as protean mortalities
Spun over the edge

So over the side, I say
Away from street walking
Enough of the handcuffs
Let’s swim far away

https://archive.org/details/emblemataandreae00alcia: Magnificent woodcuts in Alciati’s book. You buy print of image: http://bit.ly/1ptkiw5

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