mermaid

For the Ragtag Daily Prompt: quest.

mermaid

when I was born, they took my skin

i had no skin
i was frightened
i wept

a witch came
she studied me
i turned my head from the spoon

“Good,” she said, “You may refuse it if you want.”

She gave me the gift of anger

it was the only defense I had

but over the years
I studied and thought
and I found my tears
and I found my fears

i made my skin of tears
this took me many years
one tear for each scale

at last it is done
my skin
is complete

i smile at the sky
as i don it

i slip into the water
and i am gone

I miss your skin

I miss your skin

the planes of shoulder blades
layers of muscle overlying them
the trapezius sweeping up to the base of the skull
and down to the tenth vertebrae
like a wing pointed inwards
on your back
and attached to bones

more and more in clinic
I pull out Netter’s beautiful drawings
and show people the bones
and that the bones are not just floating
in a sea of muscle and organs
every bone is attached to muscles
to tendons to ligaments
together in an elaborate
beautiful
working system
and if one muscle is torn too loose
or tightens to protect itself
and heals scarred calcified
too short
it pulls on the other muscles
and tendons and bones

I miss your skin
your muscle
your tendons
your ligaments
your bones

and all the rest

 

I took the photograph in the boatyard in 2016. Sometimes I dream I have feathers….