Poseidon Has a Fling with a Sea Witch
Faithful as an anchor. Just drop me
seaside. Barnacled as a whale’s belly.
To be honest as the plastic fate
of a mistaken turtle, I’ve swallowed
loneliness like salt. I’ve seen the women who
watch the light tower steer their husbands
into the hands of the crags, crash
into the black cavities of the shore. Faithful
as an anchor, fitful as foam. I
don’t blame them, though. It’s more
bodies for me to clean, more bones
to feed the floor bed. Who can
ask these newly wretched widows
to return their alone time for the drenched
back hand of a broken man? Let them
steer their beams of crooked yellow light
as they need. Let them sing
whichever syllables feel most like ritual now.
In the meantime, I look for the witches
with seaweed hair, with hooks in their glare.
Carve me hollow as a headrest, beset
by back luck. I’ve heard they prefer
the term mermaids now, but have you seen
the way they swish their tails?
Emily Paige Wilson is the author of I’ll Build Us a Home (Finishing Line Press, 2018). She has received nominations for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and the Pushcart Prize. Her work can be found in The Adroit Journal, Hayden’s Ferry Review, PANK, and Thrush, among others. She lives in Wilmington, NC, where she received her MFA from UNCW. Visit her website at https://www.emilypaigewilson.com/.