the little mermaid #6

lois e. linkens

The city termed with noise and mood and smoke.

Big wide streets of bodies slipped all hot

From covered yards to red-lit doors, thick to choke.

Sounds that move, that crack the spine and rot

The flesh bled through our fish-girl’s bones and skin.

A doorway stuck with dark new shapes – they move in.

The Mermaid’s burning limbs, through with blade and pin,

Do start in hope – ‘he waits, he waits within!’

But oh, alas! Beyond the blackened door,

Crouched like serpents lies the blue bruiséd trails

Of poor humanity’s lowest, greyest lot.

Pale with pain, heavy up on milk

Drawn from Satan’s udder, as white as death,

A ‘fraid new world that breathes a bitter breath.

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