1. Half-human sea creature with the head and trunk of a woman and the tail of a fish
2. Mythical creatures noted for their beauty, exoticism and ability to seduce men.
My mother told me they found a mermaid
Wedged in a water pipe between the reservoir and the town.
Months of running water had washed her milky skin into
A translucent membrane, an open galaxy of her veins and bones
I forgot to ask her why one of our kind was there.
To you, we are less than human.
We are mythical beauties, we are sex symbols.
You prefer us with clam-shell bras and golden hair
Flowing over pinched waists and aquamarine eyes
Unable to accept that some of us have scaly heads.
The only one who made it into your folklore
Traded her voice for a pair of legs to win your love
Her greatest feat was metamorphosing into foam, for
We are remembered for our sacrifices and deaths;
Our beauty and loves, not for our humanity.
That is how you found her in the water pipe
For months she had been watering your plants,
Bathing your bodies, ingested into your systems
You drank her and used her without knowledge.
But that is how we are to you.
Lately I am not sure whether I have gills or lungs
Water and air have become equally difficult to inhale
My aveoli are drowning from oversaturation of fluids
My gills are suffocating from already filtered oxygen
So I float on surfaces, drowning and undrowning.
When will you use me too?