Your daughter will tell you she’s a mermaid
and you won’t disagree—every woman
is born into an ocean full of baits and hooks
and traps. Take her to river banks
and watch her braid water with her fingers.
You need her to transform mythical--
napping on coral and seducing lonely
sailors with her sexless body
only to drag them under and bind
them in seaweed. Tell her crushed pearls
make seductive blush, that garlands of sea flowers
will sprout from her hair. You need
her dreams so badly that sometimes you wake
with sea foam in your mouth.
Anne Champion is the author of Reluctant Mistress (Gold Wake Press, 2013) and The Dark Length Home (Noctuary Press, forthcoming). Her work appears in Verse Daily, Prairie Schooner, Ploughshares, The Pinch, New South, Redivider, PANK Magazine, and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a 2016 Best of the Net winner, and a Barbara Deming Memorial Grant recipient. She currently teaches writing and literature in Boston, MA. http://anne-champion.com
Jenny Sadre-Orafai is the author of Paper, Cotton, Leather and four chapbooks. Recent poetry has appeared in Linebreak, Eleven Eleven, Redivider, Thrush Poetry Journal, PANK, Rhino, The Bakery, Sixth Finch, ILK, iO: A Journal of New American Poetry, and Poemeleon. Her prose has appeared in The Rumpus, The Toast, Delirious Hem, The Los Angeles Review, and South Loop Review. She is co-founding editor of Josephine Quarterly and an Associate Professor of English at Kennesaw State University.