She woke under the pier with vertigo,
her mouth, an open lock filled with water,
eyes wide like somebody’s grandmother gripping
her curlers, ducking out of the line of a camera.

She had heard of things like this before,
that sometimes when the moon is gone
creatures take the town’s daughters
down to the water and feed them
ripe fruit from their hands.

They teach them to stop wearing clothes
and wrap themselves in their long soft hair.

They call it keeping sharks at bay, more horrible
than jumping ship, or all the terrible things they did,
cutting holes in the family photos, taking knives
to their tasseled strands.

Sometimes when the moon is full, they swim
out, hold up the whole crew of a craft
just to use the plank as a diving board,
jumping higher and higher each time
trying hard to milk the moon.

BIO: J. De Nero received her BA in English and Creative Writing from The State University of New York at Fredonia. She splits her time between traveling stateside and teaching English in South Korea.



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