The Mermaid Speaks

I cannot remain

The fairytale of the seafoam

Or flicker of maiden’s

Face in the pool.

By your hand,

I churn, fluid 

As my temple. 

And am I not creature –

Necessary creation 

Of what surrounds me? 

See my disappearing fin,

Camouflaged in synthetic fiber

Flora, ghostlings

Of progress. 

Call me leviathan.

My ocean body shimmers:

Constellation of seaglass, bottles without messages, 

Sunlit scale among silver bellies of wrappers, 

Rainbow coral and oil spill, pearl and polystyrene,

Plastic bags bobbing like jellyfish heads.  

Now call me Gorgon,

Slithering 

Hair slathered in venom.

Peer into my eyes.

Tell me 

What you see. 

Jose Luis Pablo (“Nico”) is a communications manager for a non-profit organization based in Metro Manila. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines Diliman. His poetry has appeared in Likhaan: The Journal of Contemporary Philippine Literature and Cordite Poetry Review.

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