Strange how I fit into you
there's a distance erased with the greatest of ease.
-Vienna Teng, Eric's Song
In a world of puzzle pieces
dumped out of the box and scattered on the floor,
colour and pattern align for a brief instant
and two pieces snap together.
One edge fits.
Their place on the box-cover still unknown
but wherever it is, it is together.
A white-striped fish
teases through the hair of a mermaid with her head buried in the sand.
The blades she keeps in that upwards cascade
don't touch him.
The poison she uses when she's scared-
as dearly known to him as his own skin.
He will dwell in her hair forever if she will have him
combing out the tangles she can't reach.
He feels safe there, buried in her curls
and her fronds.
The floor is littered with discarded
chests, brightly painted but still opaque.
The keys long-gone.
Inside each an angel-devil pounds on the lid of its painted prison-
fortress became coffin.