Below the cerulean waves lays a mermaid. She sits and waits for lost sailors to fall overboard and drown before inspecting the corpses. There’s something in the way the life starts to fade from their graying skin beneath the waves. She longs to feel the sun, but fears to leave the deep, afraid of the fresh air and the consequences it will have on her undisturbed home in the sea. I’ve seen her. Under ships and floating carcasses, the bones of her last meal resting on the foam. Her hair glows in contrast to the infinite depths that stare out from the void; an explosion of gold trailing behind her. Her eyes royalty, stagnancy, putrid validity. A stare that locks you in solitude praying for a well built tomb, buckets of water being pulled out of you. Your water drains into the aquifers and lakes, into streams and rivers, and back to her. She tastes your demise, she wants it, she prays. And every day she rides the waves back into the shipping lanes. Her siren song a metaphor, even to a creature as mystical and beautiful as her. She flashes rocks at passing crews, hoping the shine will catch an eye, but the wooden giants usually pass by, leaving nothing but their wake.
Mi abuelo was the first to speak of her, her azul tail followed him during his times at sea as a merchant marine. Glorified tide puller rising in the east, the sun setting on the other side left him on the deck with a mist in his eyes. Searching for a home amongst the whales and sharks, he saw pale skin through the moons reflection in the water. “Ay dios mio!” pero all he could do was stare. She was a ghost by the next second, disappearing as quick as she came. Un reflejo de una historia falsa. Ella too afraid to make contact and my grandfather used to breathe too much air. So he never saw her again, but knew that she was there, on moonlight filled nights he could feel her eyes on him. The hairs on the back of his neck, el pelo que he heredado, would stand on end, knowing that from the ocean sat a stalker.
I try to find her. The promise of the unknown awoke a side of me desperate to be free. My calloused hands clutching frayed rope, swinging from starboard to port. The salt chaps my face, and I’ve lost weight, but every day I search. First the seven seas, then I will find seven more; los mares son tan grandes but I will find her. Some say I’ve gone mad, but that is short sighted, the mad are only mad from being cast to the side. So I eat an orange, fighting off the scurvy, yellow gums ache and my head is hazy but I will find her. And as I grow old, peg leg, eye patch, and a hook for a hand, collecting clichés instead of sight of land, I repeat my mantra over again, I will find her. As the stars stare bright into my skin, and as I pray for death to bring my miserable life to an end, I will find her. As my vision gets dark and I stand on the bow, I will find her. As I lean forward to let the sea eat me now, I will find her. And as I sink to the deep, leaving my ship at sea, and the pressure starts to force the life from my body, I will find her. She will come, in the moments before my demise, look into my eyes and tell me it’s alright. She will brush my hair and I will breathe in the sea, and she will kiss my eyes and tell me it’s alright.