The Cycle

After all the The Little Mermaid’s and Ave Maria by Frank O’Hara.

Trieste Fishing Boat, Egon Schiele

A swimmer burst through, Ariel was first a princess to me—then,
the original story: ultimate relief, for I remember wanting nothing
but him, as she does. I love the tale with failure,
I love how she was dead like a red lobster, turning into seafoam
in the end because I have been low like froth, too, that collection
of dirt from the ocean pushed away—I mean that time I tried
to disappear in a dark lake with your warmth, the fire
between me and myself as my thighs passed through cold air
while our bare heels drunk shallow water and I shivered
but from cold when my sight crossed our reflection, that deception
in the moonlight in the water. Inside me: a woman enamored
with short romance, or love that ends, not like the movies;
we made the lifeless peaceful moon full of us, that night.
Because, in those movies, everyone comes together and no one
thanks God when the concluding lights dawn—