Title: sea salt

Fandom: The Little Mermaid

Written: April-May 2010

Warmth comes with the light,

drying the salt from her skin

until the sea is only in her

sweat and tears.

With her steps on the harsh ground,

so little soft on land,

things are hard and cold—

but the fire and the sun

and the cloth her prince's servants drape on her.

Baths hurt, being so close yet so far from home,

and dusk brings warnings from the witch:

time passing but no yes, no kiss, no marriage.

Why is she here,

a daughter of the sea on dirt?

Storms harass the coast, her family's lament,

and she stands on trembling legs,

singing the waters to calm.

Her sisters know the ending looms

and yet no kiss,

an ocean in her sweat and her tears

as the prince she loves weds another.

He doesn't know because the sea's daughter cannot speak

and the blade is cold in her hands,

her sisters' song loud in her heart,

her survival dependent on his demise.

The moon is her mother and the hurricane her father,

and no, she will not hurt the man she loves.

She leaves, knife falling from shaking fingers,

and the water embraces her for a single moment,

and her sisters scream,

and her mother weeps,

and her father rages,

but the prince doesn't know

and the young woman who loved him,

who smiled so beautifully and laughed so silently,

who looked at everything with wonder,

who watched him with adoring eyes—

she is gone forever to pay the witch,

her life for her love,

forever in the ocean now,

ever part of the waves as sea foam.