The Perks of Being a Mermaid

Featured this week is a compelling and heartbreaking poem by Jessica Sullivan.

Featured this week is a compelling and heartbreaking poem by Jessica Sullivan.

Image By: Image Courtesy of Melanin Speaking

I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid. 

Not for the sexy, mystical persona, 

The slim figure sunbathing on a rock, nah, 

I want to be a mermaid for the tail. 

I want to swim into the waters that swallowed 

My ancestors, feel my beautiful glistening tail

Power through the waves, go back 

Through time, meet all of those who left too soon. 

I imagine when we die

the earth enveloped us back 

In its arms it made us mermaids, 

Ethereal and magical. 

I want to delve deep into the waters

That we call home, 

Swim up to Emmett Till as he was

Before the lynching, a gorgeous black

Boy with a tail that matched the color 

Of the autumn leaves. 

He’d welcome me home with the sun in his smile, 

Ask if the world is better now. 

How do I tell a boy who died in 1955 

The trees still seep our blood, 

That we’re in a losing race with bullets? 

We’d swim together, water particles 

Brushing our skin like we’re kindred spirits, 

He’d show me the family I’ve never known.

I’d play messenger for the unarmed black boys 

Who want to tell their families they’re okay, 

Now, there’s no to worry for our safety because 

Who would shoot a mermaid?

I can’t look at the water 

Without seeing the ships, they’re calling me home, waiting to welcome me with open arms. 

What can I say, I’ve always wanted to be a mermaid.

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