The Whalemaid, Singing

Fathoms I voyage below you,
my hair the ship–snarling reach of sargasso,
my flukes speeding the moon’s rise to the shore.
Would you have me hooked from the water
like mackerel, light as krill and cold as whiting
to warm in a sailor’s arms?
I sing the depths and soundings,
the lightless stacks and the equatorial shallows,
the fish–breeding coasts and the ragged ice;
I bait my line for your ears
like the new moon fishes for spring tide.
Haul me into your boat and I will break it
as surely as I have nets, irons, and hearts
and leave you undrowned, gasping only air.
My shadow races galleons, whalers, islands.
The wake I leave is not a path for you.

(Editors’ Note: The Uncanny Podcast Episode 2 features “The Whalemaid, Singing” read by Amal El–Mohtar.)

Sonya Taaffe

Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found most recently in the collection Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press) and in the anthologies GlitterShip Year One, Transcendent 2: The Year’s Best Transgender Speculative Fiction, and An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats and once named a Kuiper belt object.

Photo Credit: Rob Noyes

One Response to “The Whalemaid, Singing”

  1. Around the Internet (December) | J.August

    […] The Whalemaid, Singing by Sonya Taaffe (poetry, mermaids) […]

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