We fail to consider what such singing costs the mermaid.
I always thought we had it wrong about them, you know? Those whores, those strumpets who lure men to their watery graves with their bare breasts and siren song. I see it as much more interconnected, a more natural process: love’s emergent property. I think they love to sing, I think that song wells up in them like a deep ocean current, full of power and uncontrollable. I’ll bet it bursts from their mouths like flocks of birds into the salted sky, exalted and holy. Which is why we drive our ships to be dashed against the rocks. That holiness, that numinous quality drives the rational world from our minds like a fever. And I’ll bet it comes as a sad and terrible shock to them when we so quickly grow still, as if transfixed again, before we begin our long, slow fall to the bottom of the sea, the light fading from our eyes.
Why don’t we tarry longer, I’ll bet they wonder.
What we love wounds us deeply or kills us altogether. Those as live through it gather their strength to sing again.
It is altogether fitting that it be so.