ISSUE 3 · FALL 2009




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Copyright © 2009

Nicelle Davis

Sideshow Serpentina:

the Last of the Split-

Tailed Mermaids

NICELLE DAVIS

 

 

The poster shows her bare-

breasted. Areola painted

pink on yellow paper,

a picture of heat, stage

lights focus on the wet

split of legs, one limb pulls

into the loops of the other.

 

Nickel crowds, line to see

the boneless woman. Un-

ossified, she lays a rag

draped on planks. A man,

taken by her inescapable

need, buys himself fresh

fish off the ice at Market.

 

On the trolley, rolling

fingers over scales, he

feels her blonde curls.

Home, unwrapping trout,

newsprint damp, ink bled,

he hates himself for

thinking he could have

 

such shimmer,

                such silver.