What Ariel Sees in the Antique Shop

By Ariel M. Goldenthal

Seashells slash the porcelain bowl, cracking the crisp cream of the sloped sides. Ariel licks the curve of the calico scallop, tastes the salty waters of her childhood.

Cold plastic toes lay in the bowl’s womb. Ariel imagines them grafted onto her tail, jointed knees and scales. She tastes clear mountain air: spruce trees’ seeping sap. Dirt between her toes, her heart swelling with the chance to dance.

The price tag crashes her back onto life’s rocky shore, so Ariel imagines the shells on her body, hugging the curves in the way they were meant to, ebbing her soul.

Ariel M. Goldenthal is an Assistant Professor of English at George Mason University. Her work has appeared in Tiny Molecules, Janus Literary, MoonPark Review, and others. Read more at www.arielmgoldenthal.com or follow her on Twitter @arielgoldenthal.