Poetry by Matthew Nolan

Mar 22, 2006 by

The Woman

Life became too much when a young mermaid confused
about her tail and scales began to love me in ways that
made twilight wrinkle through shallow glass waters
disrupting heavy salt sinking and drowning down my
soul deep into the abyss of other petrified coral hearts

A school of male fish motionless in rows on the sand table
calmly await the vibrations and cry of the maid soon to
numb them into a slow accordion expansion of gills
behind cold, darting fish eyes, resigned to leaning
sideways if her waves dizzy them into the death posture

She fin-kicks into the school of male fish
with a joker smile, eating her own kind,
in seconds her scales go from
pink to a diabolical purple silver as she grows
elaborate fins, fanned out in webs,
too many to swim, designs for show

A woman, human and fair-skinned swims towards me
with her two feet as paddles, not fins;
yet she swims with a beauty that set the smirky smiles on
the faces of crabs and breathes life into my sunken soul

She guards her oysters sealed while the maid piles up
heaps of empty shells; an ocean gluttonous of disregard,
crying for more, but the vibrations of her
can’t be felt on shore
where the woman beaches with me,
who can both walk and swim

We talk about the maid,
we see her flipping about in the ocean,
we laugh at her then feel sorry for her

We embrace with arms and legs,
as we move in to touch lips
we spread apart fresh ocean air
and look over our shoulders one last time,
was the mermaid ever there?

Copyright 2004 by Matthew Nolan

To view more excerpts or to order Matthew Nolan’s book of poetry, prose, and journals Crumpled Paper Dolls: A New Orleans Poet please visit your local New Orleans bookstore or order directly at http://MatthewNolan.net/book.htm

Link: http://MatthewNolan.Net/book.htm

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