There's a mermaid painted on the beach, in Coney Island in the winter. She sticks her tongue out at me, near the fajita stand. I lay out my nickels and dimes, challenge her, and I pretend this mermaid and I swim across the water. Cruise over fish bodies and weathered planks; the glue of the Atlantic is the framework of our waists. Coming out for breaths, her scales are made of corn husks and her braids have become frosted. We swim to the bottom, around the edges of the lonely beach, sand fragments in our lungs, behind us, above us.
Coney Island in the winter made up of old fishermen. Their wool hats and bloated coats forming brigades over the wooden fence to catch her before others do. Active like boys, short breaths. They jump the rails, race each other, their arms heavy. They trample the pier's ground like stargazers in the neighbor's garden. Lips chapped, cheeks reddened, there are hardly any words exchanged.
(later the same day)
"I have everything I fucking want," the mermaid said with her full length dress, as we filed in the seats, filling up the rows to watch a homespun revival of The Dead. We sit silently throughout the play, until the end, when the room is so dark, the only thing we can see is the old couple talking by candlelight at their bedside. (When girls usually cry) And when the wife finally dies, the mermaid melts into seawater next to me, soaking the cushions of her chair, the arm rest, parts of my shoes.
I have daydreamed for a long time on how to add images to this using different mediums...