Pania

By Jessica Thompson Carr

We are robbed by dead people
We used to be fish
Now we are mermaids
And I wouldn’t mind so much
If they hadn’t hoisted me out
of the ocean
onto dry sand
And left me to flop and gasp
With the hook still in my neck.

My favourite story was Pania of the Reef
Who was born in the sea
But was betrayed by a man
-What’s new-
Cooked food Christianity going in
And nuns whipping the Reo
Out of our mouths
No wonder I throw up so
often
Trying to rid my stomach
Of the black lies
they fed me while I slept.

A white skin sack with a hidden tail,
half in, half out.

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