and my addiction workbook.		I learn

that the most entrancing kind of mermaid
	is fish above the waist
			                   because no one can hear her speak.

I pray through cavewater-filtered sunlight 	for someone to rescue me
							from my father
and I almost become a real girl myself—		It happens when I see a man
						opportunistically shipwrecking;
I return his body  	           to the same shore he started from 
					     and renounce my entire sea.

When the time comes       I will steal back
				              my own voice	just to tell
		the lover             all about my love, thus become
	fully real girl, become
			   no-fish-at-all girl—
						not one cragged scale between us.

Addiction workbook suggests:
				Erase all scenes where the lover hasn’t kissed you yet
				and saves you         anyway.
	The lover always gets theirs first	   is always a clueless trinket collector 
       turning you around in the light                   so you can better watch their lips 
			call you the wrong name:	               The water of it feels better
						inside the mouth.

Addiction workbook suggests:
				Erase all scenes where the father	and the jealous witch
							have different bodies.
	Remember, under the mythology of their flesh        they are both only one
		trident		with the same three tips 	fitted correctly
			to the yielding caves            between your ribs.

Addiction workbook suggests:
				If the ocean is the childhood		erase
		all of its water 		the moment you earn your legs.
	If you want the voice, as well                 erase 	    almost all guilt on behalf

	    of those exposed fish snapping—
					     	    briefly—
								on the sand. Leave only
	enough regret to keep you	human. 		

Look—
	     when parched as a naked rib          the whole world becomes the shore

where you began and will end.
Nicole Connolly

Nicole Connolly

Nicole Connolly lives and works in Orange County, CA, which she promises is mostly unlike what you see on TV. She received her MFA from Bowling Green State University, and her work has appeared in such journals as Assaracus, Pithead Chapel, The Rush, and Five 2 One. She currently serves as Managing Editor for the poetry-centric Black Napkin Press.
Nicole Connolly

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