from Mermaid

by Dawn Lim


tonight a flood of rain


the spaces of the earth


waterland; only the clouds

form its barriers


a breeze steers the leaf

of a boat like a free-




a fisherman

pulls in the sea with both arms,

and keeps it in a basket

to tame. he dreams

of teaching it to travel by air.





if there are no salt rivers, there will still be rain.

if there is no rain, there will still be the humidity.

if there is no humidity, there will still be tears for remembrance.

if eyes do not speak, there will still be my lips, upturned, broken bird.

if lips do not speak, then their silence will.

if silence will not, then memory will.

if memory will not, then absence will, reminding us

of how lightly we brushed our lips away from our pasts.