Swimming or Sinking

I swam with a mermaid,
Blond and fair pale and pink blushing,
Dipping in the water,
Emerging, dripping,
Gold hair sleeked back.
Show me your tail, I said,
And she laughed and dived beneath.
I followed, I nearly drowned,
I felt the deep sea depths of blue and green and grey
Entering me and taking me but I would not give up.
I swallowed dank water.
I gasped for my oxygen blood life,
And she did not care.
She plunged deeper,
Glistening in chrysolite waters,
And, I believe,
Showed her shimmering scales to others,
Viridian hued and aramanthine gleaming,
While my ears rang with music of the deep.
Sub-luminous waters folded me
As I tried to grasp the iridescent fins
Vanishing into the glaucous sea.

I nearly drowned in my searching,
But some atavistic instinct
Drove me up to the surface.
There I breathed, and I thought
Farewell, Mermaid, I can manage without you.
Now I stay on dry land,
Wandering between the sand and shingle,
Watching hopelessly for her citrine incandescence.


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