They joked, at the Olympics, that she should be checked for mermaid blood.
She flows through the water like the sirens of lore, as easily as one born to it.
She flows with grace and purity, a dream sharpened in harshness and blood.
On land, in her tracksuit and gold medals, smiling for cameras, waving to fans,
she speaks of God and Jesus’ grace and redemptions and salvations, and though
I believe, I turn my face away, pull away admiration, because she might hurt me.
The child of God may hurt one of His unwanted children, one like me, scattered
like ashes in the wind, like starlight into empty eternity, dreams never sharpened.
If she didn’t hold the gun, she’d sell me into the hand of the one who always does.
Rich and safe and easily holding the hand of iron and pride, so easily walking the path
that was made for the pale and powerful, she’d turn on me, destroy me, deny me.
Gatekeeper of paradise that thinks the controls the turning swords or the burning blade.
And so I fear one who should be my sister, my own kind, my own kin among the stars.
I watch her, primal and pure in those crystal clear waters, as easy as one born to it.
But I’d never look her in the eye, say her name, for she holds the blade to my throat.