The maids of the ocean take tea at low noon,
Drifting 'midst coral by light of the moon.
The maids of the ocean take tea in great swallows,
Inhaling, exhaling in kelp-scented billows.

They drift in the silks of drowned, maudlin lovers,
In hallways of sand and salt-crusted bowers.
They sing in the deep and flutter their lashes,
Here, a tail flicks as an amber eye flashes.

Hookahs they light from fires beneath,
Bricks from the sailors sung to their knees.
Their ransom is Russian, their doom is in green,
That molds in the salt and clumps in the seams.

They gossip of ships, and of shells, and of shale,
They whisper of lovers of heartwood and sails.
They whisper of oaks hewn to carry them far,
To sink in the waves under song-strangled star.

'round spigots and spouts, lips pursing tight,
Painted with green in the sea-tinted night.
Arrayed in their silks, with fish-pasted scones,
Beneath in their bowers on weed-riddled thrones.

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