Merfolk in the Ghost Net

by

Katherine Quevedo

The sea laps and pulls and spits.
The cliffs stare past.

What have they snared at their rocky,
coraled, submerged feet?

Tide and rock have snagged a drifter,
old fishing net. Quite a catch.

Like water and stone, the net persists, an
overtime serf impervious to desertion.

What a haul pinned between
seafloor and mesh.

Cephalopods, tentacles demoted to cirri,
feeble against plastic fibers.

A sea star’s final grasp, immobilized
arms mid-curl around the netting.

Merfolk in the ghost net, scales iridescent,
eyes no longer so. Sunken, stilled.

Beautiful things lost between irresponsibility
and faceless, mineral apathy.

The sea laps and pulls and spits.
The cliffs stare past.

This poem first appeared in Seaborne Magazine.

Katherine Quevedo hails from Portland, Oregon, where she works as an analyst and lives with her husband and two sons. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the Rhysling Award and appears in NonBinary Review, The Curator, Latinx Lit Mag, and elsewhere. Find her at www.katherinequevedo.com