Selkie by Ren Martinez

I am a water child who trembles at the thought of drowning

born again in waters too deep to fathom

where secrets linger like the glowing bulbs of angler fish to tempt me into gaping jaws

and so I throw off my seal skin to walk on shards of glass

only to find that my blood is just as red when spilled onto sand

veins become blistered, infection spilling through the organ in my chest

a filter spanning arteries that are slowly chipped away by the flood

should the levy break apart like threadbare promises

I will raise my chin above the crimson tide

my hands reaching out to dry shores that never appear

it won’t be long until I’m dragged beneath, lungs filled with salt and water

drowning in a way that’s like coming home


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