Boomslang Poetry

Becoming

Stop, she said, take a moment and breathe.
Let the salt tingle your nostrils. Let it tickle
the back of your throat and fall on the tip
of your tongue. Let it encrust your skin.
Let the spray add tears to your eyes.

Then and only then, when you are one with
the chemistry of the sea, open your eyes to it.

Feel its swell with your whole self,
Let it tumble you onto the sand. Let it chafe
you and wrap you in weed. Let it keep you
buoyed up and drag you to its emerald depths.
Let it serenade you with its lapping song
and wake you with its crashing.

Then, when it has tested all your senses, only then,
can you say you are truly a mermaid.