“She laughed and danced with the thought of death in her heart.”
— Hans Christian Andersen, from The Little Mermaid
No you don’t, Unruly Girl
It’s a killing now and you don’t have time
to take off your leather dress,
silver heels and pearl earrings.
You walk through the dance hall, soul-shut,
choked by the voices of strangers,
– only your lips can’t form a whisper.
You have become unreal, immured
within the walls of a silent sea.
The dream, to be here,
to feel the green glass of his eye
roll on your skin,
breaks like a wave at his feet.
You’re a tragic thing now,
a crash without a sound,
only beasts understand you, quietly.
In the tender onyx of their pupil
the blade licking your waist
soothes their aching nerves.
A knife is the answer, see :
cruel as the love that never came.
You’ve lost yourself deeper here
than all the men you sent to the abyss.
Right after he opened your mouth
your heart has gone adrift.
But a darker submersion
is your dance in the electric light.
While he kisses his bride long and hard,
Neptune’s moons are turning red.
Do you sink inward yet,
wanting to melt into the foam ?
Do oceans flow backwards ?
Ah, no. Not at all.
Your hips sway with pride,
and wings cut the strings
of your brittle fate,
Just to feel his eye,
warm as soil,
the moment is all
– the moment is enough.
The beasts follow your bleeding feet
as you pursue your end,
sniffing the emptiness of all :
the knife was an answer born dead.
As it falls on the ground
and the music stops,
your legs close
like a flower at night.
You look quickly around the room,
to remember the bland earth — and leave,
your song sealed
into the stagnant air.