She gorged on forests, gluttonous
for the town, craved torchlit
streets every time she went
back to normality.  She swapped

her tail for a man washed up
on the shore along with the shingle,
salt-seaweed, and crab-carapace.
She burns from ankles to hips

when she ventures onto the sand-dunes.
She dives in, swims, and cools off
in his private pool. Her legs heal, scarless
along with the thank-you gifts he showers

her with: the dresses, the earrings,
the necklaces that mesmerise her.
While her fish-tail is swallowed
by starving waves, gone, and lost.



Claire Smith’s poetry is published in: Best of penumbric speculative fiction mag, Spectral Realms and Tales from the Moonlit Path. She is working on a PhD at the University of Gloucestershire. She lives with a very spoilt Tonkinese cat.