“In My Next Life” by Anne Perez



I want to be a person

who calls to the ocean


Howls at it, really


And hears a roar in response


A crest, an invitation

to dive into a riptide


And be rebirthed with a tail


of rainbowed silver to tease the moon

and gills for breath


I want to swallow thunder


And spit typhoons

so gently


To toss the ships

that crowd my whales

steal their songs


With drunken all-you-can-eat norovirus


Have a tea party with a stonefish

and when I come to surface


Once every couple of years

caught in some fishing net


They’ll cut me loose


And say,


“Don’t touch her. It’s bad luck to trap an old Brooklyn mermaid.”




Anne Perez is a lifelong New Yorker who explores the extraordinary of the ordinary through fiction and sporadic blogging. Recent fiction has been published in Lamplight, The Northwest Review, and Canned Magazine. She can usually be found blathering on Twitter @MrsFringe