She wanted to be a ballerina
but she had webbed toes
so she became a mermaid instead
All day long she would sit on a rock by the sea
comb her hair, sing sweetly, and devour men
No, she never could perform an open sissonne ouverte
posing at a 90 degree arabesque angle flying to the side
as in the classical ballet “The Idiot”
but she could bite a man’s head off
and in my book,
that’s more impressive

“Kismet” was previously published in Poetrybay, Winter 2001.

See Howard Camner’s Web site at