The Unicorn, the Fae, and the Mermaid

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I met the Unicorn in the willows.
Amidst songs and storytellers,
under the equinox moon,
I chased fireflies until
she appeared at the edge of the grove.
I froze.
Carefully, I approached
so as not to startle her away.
Her skill was hiding, and mine, to reveal.

I taught her
not just her lips
but that every part of her could smile.
She found me, next, in a field of wild coreopsis.
She taught me that my weakness
held my strength like a pearl.
In the silence of an eclipse,
we learned how dangerous it is
unraveling together.
Our tangled boundaries like roots entwined
and she fled when we could no longer see
what parts were her and what parts were me. Even now, so long after I’ve forgotten her scent, and lost her trail, because of her once upon love, I am learning still.

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The Fae found me at a house party
across the street from where I lived.
Still sleepy, my new ten year-old neighbor
invited me to come and play.

She was feirce despite her petite appearance,
with long blonde dredlocks and round glasses.
She smelled like a desert thunderstorm.

Her child played in the grass, frolicking
with golden curls and the fearless aplomb
of someone loved unconditionally.

We walked together to her car in the rain,
holding my umbrella above her and her child,
I asked her to have coffee with me sometime.

She carried herself like a warrior,
cast spells like a witch
boots and clenched fists, and a hammer
hidden in her bag, among her herbs and potions.

At home, she poured her soul into every corner,
every meal from scratch, every seat soft and welcoming, and crafted her own soaps and lotions in the bath.

We parted after a while, our worlds too different to overlap. My way was one of brambles and thorns, vulnerability and uncomfortable emotions
and could never quite find a fit
in her gentle Queendom.

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The Mermaid I found
(in a startlingly usual way)
sitting next to me at a bar one day
very much by chance, as she explained,
stranded far from her ocean home.

She did not walk so much as dance,
or move so much as swim.
Her words sparkled like an underwater melody.
With every step and breath I fought
the whim I had to fall in love,
I vowed to see the girl
underneath the enchantress.
She did not ask any man’s romance,
and told me bluntly so, although
She had a face to launch a thousand ships
and underneath her robe,
(She always wore the most peculiar clothes,
as though she draped herself in the dreams
she had had the night before.)
a body
like a Siren’s song,
to smash every last one
against the rocks.

when we slept,
I was surprised every time
to find her still there in the morning.

She would often and without warning,
suddenly slip away,
as though she couldn’t afford to miss
the last pumpkin out of town,
she would simply turn to me and say,
“I’m sorry, I have to go.”

Days, weeks, even months would pass.
I never knew where she went, or if she would return. I even found comfort in her ambivalence, knowing from the first glance
She was not, nor would ever be mine.

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