“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