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Mermaid Hair

by Ellora Sutton

Mermaid Hair

I fell in love with the sea

when I was six,

on a glass-bottomed boat

as it meandered its bovine way

over fields of seaweed

that the skipper called ‘mermaid hair’.


Mermaid hair,         mermaid hair,

my fingers fossilized in the dryness

of not being able to plunge through the glass

and plait the diaphanous other-green.


Were there ladies underneath?

I fell in love with a lady

when I was sixteen,

and my fingers ached

to plait her hair and find her



Would it have been worth drowning for?

In an abandoned place

where breathing didn’t matter


           and yes again             yes


the glass shattered

and we both got so gloriously

cut up.


I have only ever loved one person

as much as I love the sea.

I fell into her

and there was no glass to stop it

and she plaited my hair

even though it was too short

and I didn’t even think about breathing

or what oxygen was


grew eternal with that watery bloat.

She rewrote the tide,

eroded the coastlines,

taught me how to float

            on my back,

                     with only the stars watching.


Ellora Sutton

Ellora Sutton, 21, is a recent Journalism and Creative Writing graduate from a small village in Hamsphire, UK. Her work has been published by or is forthcoming in: Blue Marble Review, Eye Flash Poetry Journal, The Cardiff Review, Constellate, and the Young Poets' Network, among others. She works in a museum gift shop and has been writing since she could hold a pen.

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