I Wish I Could See Mermaids Again

Rhonda is swimming, in her bright red bikini,
her long dark hair still tied up in a ponytail,
in the cold, deep river running through our home town,
a place we know beyond remembrance.
It’s spring again, and everything is green, but rains
may not be coming soon, or they’ll only come in black storms,
that wipe away all that is growing and good here.
Might push this city into the river itself, hungry, eternal
Rhonda grabs my hand, and we dive into the waters,
cold and deep and dark and full of things we don’t want to know.
We surface and she pulls me close, kisses me softly.
Our bodies floating together, like angels out in space.
And everything is green and bright and warm,
and it’s another day that makes it easy to ignore
all that’s crumbling and falling away and will be lost.
It’s green and bright so we pretend it always will be.
Rhonda swims too shore, gets a soda out of the cooler,
and drinks greedily of it, her favorite treat, favored vice.
I look down the river, wishing I could see mermaids again,
the wild creatures my family hunted to extinction.

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