"You will never be anything,"
my mother told me often,
"Least of all beautiful.
Least of all loved."
She also told me that I never listen,
though I do.
I listen, but I keep my own counsel as to what I think about the things I hear.
Years later, I slipped into sleep
like bare feet off a smooth shoreside stone,
and slowly sank.
My hair was long, so long,
that it trailed in the currents
around the coasts of South America,
and I held starfish in my hands
which sang, impossibly and in languages beyond interpreting.
I stretched myself naked on the backs of orcas,
and across the arms of pink anemones,
but it wasn't until near dawn
when true beauty found me and settled itself in my humble flesh.
Still drifting, I stretched my legs out together,
long and sleek like a mermaid's tail;
I felt the rise and fall of the waters I belong to,
and those currents
those warm, containing currents
were just your arms
circling in sleep, around me.
for A Word With Laurie at Real Toads. We were to write something "phantasmagoric."