Broadcast live from earth, ionic slivers inside skulls—
visions wired to words, stuttering, sparking, and Sereia.
She’s painted the refrigerator red, the television too,
but at least it’s just the screen.
The sound’s a little damp, a little scarlet.
She must have done the audio as well.
A paint smeared note reads Gone to buy more paint,
dinner’s on the stove.
It looks like ravioli take-out with a little lipstick,
Bahia Sunset maybe.
You must decide, Sereia told me,
to face the lighthouse or the sea.
A car pulls up outside,
a crustacean scuttles underneath
I’ve walked botanical avenues,
breathed the solar ether
and touched the quiet centerline of nothing.
Yet there were always spectral shadows,
unknown choices missed and gone,
other shades I never saw beyond each inflorescence.
Sereia has two shopping bags of cans and brushes.
What do you think so far? she asks.
Fish are darting round the coral walls,
the intermittent weather blushes tropical red.
I love what you’ve done with the place.
The song ‘Lenda das Sereias’ (Legend of the Mermaids) performed by Marisa Monte as well as others, in which Brazilian mermaids sing like this: lalaó, oquê, ialoá. Apparently there’s not much risk of unsuspecting listeners being lured to their death by shipwreck, drowning etc, although admittedly I’ve never heard them singing on a cruise.
Four vaguely related pieces—