Inland Sea Bride
What if your anima isn’t an animé character,
Westerner, high pitched voice vowel-shifted
to your soul’s shitty 16th century bowel,
but unfemale entrails bad for augury
magic-lanterning a favourite kanji?
Write ningyo, or mermaid, in squid ink,
without drawing cephalopods at any fractal level
(e.g. stroke while swimming).
White air-conditioned roar
sucks kelpies hoarse.
Memory autoblots: tai chi poses
transform like autobots without breaking bones
til forehead smiles to steering wheel
and in Saudi Arabia, women drive.
The mermaid’s hair’s fiberoptic
beams down distant macaroni.
Her ringlets reflect your phone sex
in inner cheesy glaze
while she does her nails.
Cam girl from the waist up
doesn’t mean she wades.
Tell her the old tale
your pillow won’t understand
in the back of a private ambulance
half in a river
the doors spread
siren still going.
Chris Kerr lives in Edinburgh. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Ambit, Blackbox Manifold, HVTN, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Oxford Poetry, The Literateur and Under the Radar. He was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2017 and is the co-author of ./code --poetry. http://www.code-poetry.com/