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.