Jolia Einstein


No question ever shook
the fishermen who swore
to sheriff and parish minister
they’d seen a merrymaid,
a dragon-wife, a river witch,
the daughter of the water king,
half-human, half-fish,
mackerel-speckled, scaled but finless,
a full-moon-eyed drowned soul
draped in a drift net.
First, they heard her
singing wild harp songs.
Then they saw her nearby,
unknotting her hair
on a floating herring box.
They reeled her in
and kept her on board,
refusing her fish, raw or cooked,
until she knelt to their crucifix.
Days later, women wading
in seaweed untangled the body.

Jolia Sidona Einstein teaches English at Santa Monica College in California where she lives with her fiancé, Jordan, and their cat, Ned. She recently received her MFA in Creative Writing, Poetry from the University of Florida, following a BA in English in Boston University.

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