The Lorelei Signal
Written by Kavitha Nallathambi / Artwork by Lee Ann Barlow
At the end of the seven-colored rope,
you rose above the Old City mosaics and wares
out of the dust, in swaths of crimson.
Here, I am Andromeda chained to the rocks
cerulean waves frothing up my legs.
You dare to release me, Perseus in Ray-Bans
from this cave I’ve created for myself.
“What are you?” the question lingers.
Every third cab driver in DC thinks I’m Ethiopian,
big eyes (not just an Indian thing), long legs, whole body,
In Jaffa, they consider me Sephardic or Moroccan,
most Continentals just assume I’m British.
As Ovid once said, white really pops on dark girls.
I look to the sky, out to the harbor
Which will it be? Winged man or sea monster
I wait for either to come and best me.
Kavitha Nallathambi writes speculative, mythical, and magical realism poetry.
Her work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, and Through the Gate.