Sirena: a song the black mermaid might sing
Like the fish
I must learn to breathe 
in water:

you have held me 
under

under the guise of
teaching me
to swim —

yours is a crafty 
instruction 
you have crafted

a ritual of immersion 
a secular 
baptism

from which I
 emerge (barely) 
heaving, gasping

grasping 
for some dry
land

flopping and flashing 
like an outcast
on the sun-scorched 
shore

but perhaps I could 
learn
to thrive

in that watery 
underworld
to which you think 
I am consigned

taking on the lessons 
of the
teacher

my wounds transformed 
to gills —