The Selkie

By: Elana Levy

He went to the old man to ask, in absence of my father,

For the taking of me

And following my voice he found, half-gray on the rocks, seized

And peeled off my skin, bit by bit.

Lay me on the sand, drowning bare and raw and burnt under the sun

I was to be his bride. And to a bright place

A house smelling of salt I cried freshwater tears

And drank

It was I, coughing up air, that spoke me cursed, cursed, cursed

And I swelled and bore to the thought of the sea

Cradling my dreams in that dry, bent house

seals hidden behind the walls like paintings

unholy

Forbidden.

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