Poets logo

River Sirens

by Katie Alafdal 11 days ago in surreal poetry

a poem

River Sirens
Photo by pine watt on Unsplash

the night my brother was born

i dreamt that father met me beside the river.

the current heaved along the banks

and the water grazed his thighs

and i called out but it made no difference.

a thousand years later, stranded upon

the sand,

i came to with algae in my hair.

fisherman watched me appraisingly.

their dogs pulling back their lips

in a snarl.

their wives with bare feet and

stained aprons gutting fish into the sunset.

the sky stared into me impassively

swollen with its own significance and

i was a waterlogged thing.

the river by this time

had gone brown with summer plumes.

sat mute beneath the willows and cottonwoods

intoxicated by wolfsbane

i watched the glittering surface.

a woman stared back at me

the curve of some anatomy dark against

the sinking sun.

her fishes tail and maritime grace

spiked beneath the waterline.

i called to her and she turned to bark.

river sirens do not bother with singing

in the land that i am from.

they leave that to the yearning.

it is enough.

surreal poetry

Katie Alafdal

queer poet and visual artist. @leromanovs on insta

Receive stories by Katie Alafdal in your feed
Katie Alafdal
Read next: Poem: New Life

Find us on socal media

Miscellaneous links