by Sue Johnson
Venice stands on ten million tree trunks rooted in a layer of clay – trees from the mountains of Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro. They carry their own stories – you can hear them like a heartbeat on nights when the moon is full. I longed to swim underwater amongst the ancient forest, but swimming is forbidden in the canals of Venice.
Then one moonlit night ten years ago, I saw a mermaid slide into the water near a shadowy Grand Canal palazzo. I called to her to come back, to wait for me. I climbed on the bridge, looked down into the rippled surface of the water, but all I saw was my fractured reflection. Caught like a fly in a web, I’m condemned to wander the streets and fondamente until her spell is broken or my life ends.
Art by SisiwAkooo