In Which I Decide to Grow Wings

The Mermaid Issue Faerie Magazine 2018

because I can no longer feel my feet.
Was it a trick of genetics or a magic potion

that made my fingers into feathers or fins
ready for a different kind of escapade?

My body is slowly giving itself away
from this universe. It sparkles, sometimes sparks,

in this alien air. And I can have the hair I always wanted,
long and blue, the kind that thrashes behind me

with its own anima. Maybe shiny scales.
If I’ve become unrecognizable, I’m okay with that.

I’m happy to leave behind my misadventures,
live inside someone else’s warm-lined skin.

I’ll arrive with a suitcase of snakes and silks,
a map to a new evolution, a sky full of discovery.

Painting by Anne Bachelier

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Jeannine Hall Gailey recently served as the second Poet Laureate of Redmond, Washington. She is the author of four books of poetry: Becoming the Villainess, She returns to the Floating World, unexplained Fevers, and The robot Scientist’s Daughter. Visit her online at