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The Angry Siren

by Nicelle Davis

What my sad sister won’t tell you
are the things the half-dead man
called her as she stitched his arms
back on—licking his toes to keep
herself from eating his face. I was

there to replant her teeth when she
bashed her jaw on shores. It was I
who cleaned ash from her scorched
skin. While she battled her nature, he
spat in her eyes and shat in her mouth—

yelling whore. She plucked out every
feather and stayed silent for ten days.
But inevitably, she is air and he dirt.
What’s left of him fell under the sea
as a sunken boat. She couldn’t help

but surface—rising as summer night.
Only now she sings only of him—
never present nor future—eyes coated
in spittle—scent on tongue—the smell
of him gags me when she speaks.

She was all I had of home and he kicked
in and out her doors; for that loss I pro-
long every sailor’s hurt for at least one
full night before swallowing pain like
cups of sugar at a sunrise feast of bones.

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