She describes Sickle-Cell Anemia as having
schools of trout made out of shards of glass
swimming through her bloodstream; Each brush of their fins
scraping against the inside of a vessel another jagged reminder
that she is a woman made of riptides.
I imagine her body less mermaid, more angry sea
and remember sickles are just overgrown fish-hooks.
God gave man dominion over the beasts of the field,
but still I envision the kingdom beneath her skin an Atlantis;
Playgrounds of clownfish darting between the nooks of her coral reef skeleton.
She is the void that stared up at Noah’s ark;
Boundless pits of fangs and tentacles.
A swirling nest of scales and snapping teeth.
She is no lighthouse.
Her ribcage is held together by a shipwreck.
Her flesh is a mapmaker’s warning
steering sailors clear of the end of the world.
Her heart is a compass rose
Beneath it is inscribed:
Beware all ye who wish
to explore uncharted waters.
There be monsters here.
CURTIS MEYER lives in Winter Park, Florida. His favorite punctuation mark is the semi-colon, and thinks it’s extremely pretentious for anyone to write about their accomplishments in third person. You can find him on Facebook or at his website: www.allpoetry.com/poets/k-dense.