Mermaid

by William Miller 

Like their sisters,
they call sailors
to the rocks,
a salty death …

I knew a woman
who called me
late at night,
laughed, teased,
denied me.

And I enjoyed
those calls
at first until
they seemed
more sinister
than phone games.

And I told her
I wanted to meet,
see her in the flesh,
put a face to
the midnight voice.

She made promises
that brought me
closer to the rocks,
her human arms.

But they were only
promises, and I took
a real girl to bed.

I heard her voice,
even when she
stopped calling,
touched her dark

red hair, her
glittering scales.

William Miller is a Birmingham, Alabama, native now living in The French Quarter of New Orleans. His poems have appeared in more than 200 journals, including The Southern Review and Prairie Schooner. Read his former poems published in Deep South here

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