I will grow my hair to my waist
so people see me as a mermaid.
They’ll see the soft strength of my body
fluid as water, but swimming against the tide
with a fierceness you might mistake for anger.
They will watch the curve of my waist,
full lips and hooded eyes
and know I have explored an ocean of pleasure
under my own gentle fingers,
that I hold the deed to this landscape I live in,
and visitors are rarely granted entry,
as my rules are strict.
They will notice the way my hands slip
like satin over rocks and shells,
and see how swept away I am
by the beauty this world contains,
how I lean to kiss every skipping fish,
every strand of seaweed,
seeing in it my Beloved.
They will observe my unsteady feet,
and know I’m unused to walking
on the surface of this life;
I am the one who plunges,
who flows every day with
waves of passion,
who dives and seeks to understand.
They will watch how hard I laugh,
how I lick the food from my lips,
how I twist into my bed at night
and allow my back to arch,
my shape to pronounce me woman,
and they will know without a doubt
I am not ashamed of the pleasures of this world.
I will continue to love and swim
and feel and moan and touch and eat –
and never glance to your eyes,
to see if I’ve had enough.