Mermaid Sleeps in the Bay

white cloth blew across empty sand
smoothed over skin dried
i had slept away

though

air tangled now my hair
sand piled warmly at my back

my hand curled like a crab
then relaxed and pushed my head from the ground
letting tumbles of sand aground

my adorned lips parted with glints of sand
my face a half mask of mosaic white shell

this

was cast in the shadow of the man standing above me
not knowing what to say
was i a foolish woman sleeping
or a myth come real as the day

so i told him

i told him i was sea foam
misted off the waves
my heart made of sea shells
and my head filled with summer days

i was not the kind of girl
he would want to take away

and all he did was watch
water crease my edges splayed
until the sun was vanished
and i memory
once made