“Between Worlds,” “Fly,” and “Undulation”


Photo by Jeremy Ricketts on Unsplash

Between Worlds

I never imagined being a mermaid

Other girls talked of curly hair,

seashell bras; all I saw were scales —

Water felt like a second skin to me.

I could glide and swoop, avoid

imagined obstacles at speed.

Soar out of the water

an arc — at least that's what I felt like,

even if my body didn't quite make that C.

Dolphin tail propelling me,

water pushed, air breathing,

sleek and playful —

not a mermaid stuck between worlds.


I've watched her swim a dozen times.

Each time something different. Sluggish

movement, lazy stroke, focused form, but

today, a line of fire crackers lit at once.

She vaulted into that water, barely

a splash. Far lane, dolphin kick

and arcing body tumbling,

a wake of whitewater.

She drops nearly 5 seconds,

later telling me she missed her heat,

she cried, but when tears dried

she slipped into emptiness and flew.


My head has waves —

cascading indigo — spilling over

banks, washing away plastics

and leftovers downstream.

Sometimes the undulation swallows

ideas until they resurface

days, weeks, later inside a poem.

Currents carry me

down rapids, into an abyss

I can't see beyond.

About the Author

Serena Agusto-Cox

Facebook Twitter Instagram

Serena Agusto-Cox's poetry has been twice nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she coordinates poetry programming for the Gaithersburg Book Festival and was a featured reader at the Gaithersburg's DiVerse Poetry reading series and D.C.'s Literary Hill BookFest. Poems appear in multiple magazines and anthologies. She also founded the book review blog, Savvy Verse & Wit, and Poetic Book Tours to help poets market their books.