Mermaid 2 - Copy

by Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

scoliosis recomposes vertebrae
the spine aligned to a tuning fork
the wavering arrow, now a trident
finds water, fishes bone from hips

the moon demands
the tide pulls in
dreams the color of rust
unfolding the winding coastline
run here until it fractures
the nightmares of
car crash, whip-lash
fear of the breaks

the torso cast
corset with teeth
has metal clasps
pulled tight, strain
tears the bed sheets

survival is trade with the Sandman
trade in stainless steel rods
for titanium double-helix
in case of polar shift
the North Star has been slipping
fear of lightning into the punch
take a long drink, this looks like
dancing in the rain, IV drops
a smoothness into the vein

headphones cure the headaches
sift through the waves
like a modern robot
holding the clock
radio so the signal gets
clearer, the antennas implanted
in the body double as titanium pillars
pillars sifted from sand, fish hooks
feel like salt, electric wire

give up touching metal
to avoid the static shock
from being metal
an ungrounded instrument
internal battery sparks
shudders the whole body

swell up
against old scars
moving every cell
like an ocean
an always
contortionist

balance, visualize
a bowl of fire, inside
the body remembers
how to feel, learns to
lie down on a wooden
floor, the piano is
being played, echoes
through the deck
of this vessel

made of water
made of rust

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