A mermaid

a short story by Stella Poli
translated into English by Giulio Frangioni.

I saw it, a mermaid.

She had an orange tail, it looked fluffy.

On the boobs, two things like seashells. That looked like mom’s bikini top, but without laces. Two seashells like this, round.

She was pretty.

She had her arms turned backwards. She was making noises like mermaids.
It’s true that mermaids make noises.
It’s true that they’re nice.

I was like Ulysses, I thought.

But I managed to stand still. I wasn’t even on a ship.

She was ashore, close to the water, on small pebbles.
I managed to stand still because I was a little scared.

It moved. The tail, it moved.

I thought she wanted to go back into the water. That she was moving her tail because of that.
But she didn’t look sad.

He told me I’ll bring you to the seaside, all smiling. He told me I’ll bring you to the seaside like a wave of froth of enthusiasm. I gave him the biggest smile, it was spilling over from all sides.
He was riding the highway at full speed, it was late afternoon when we got there. A cove with no one there, and dark pebbles that made the sea so blue.

We had the longest bath in the sea, the sun was almost setting.

When we got back ashore, he couldn’t help laughing. It’s when he thought of something already, when he laughs like that. When he already thought of something, but he’ll play silent. When he pulled the towel over his head, I understood.

all pictures by Leandro Colantoni.