Awkward Mermaid
2 min readAug 12, 2018


By Marisa Silva-Dunbar


I left riddles for you on the kitchen table,

on old test papers — did they read like a ransom note?

Each one was a torn letter from a magazine.

I sketched a girl with half a face —

lips like a heart, lashes — meteor tails.

I scrawled verses from old love songs,

hoped Sinatra and Cline would lead you back to me.

Their crooner wails were jazz club dates, late night walks

— clues for you to solve.

Ojo Caliente

I keep thinking about the apple —

the curve of your arm when biting,

how you liked to drink Corona from the bottle,

while your legs dangled in the pool.

After pulling you in, your pulse hummed

through my skin. You: tangled in clothing,

cotton clinging to every knot of muscle.

Days later, my bitten wrist swelled into the plum of a bruise.

Marisa Silva-Dunbar’s work has been published in Spider Mirror Journal, Mojave He[art] Review, Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, Poetry WTF?!, Better than Starbucks Magazine, Redheaded Stepchild, Words Dance Magazine and Gargoyle Magazine. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry, and has been shortlisted twice for the Eyewear Publishing Fortnight Poetry Prize. She has work forthcoming in Mojave He[art], Midnight-land Boutique, The Same, and Sixfold. Twitter: @theSweetMaris & Instagram:



Awkward Mermaid

Awkward Mermaid is an online literary community and safe space for writers to share freely their experiences with mental illness.