Skin of My Selkie
I was seven the first night I saw seals come up from the waves and shed their skins, taking human form. They danced on the shore, draped in cloaks of their fur, these sons and daughters of the sea, these selkies.
I watched from my rocky perch then, and again seven years later, and seven years later. They came to know me. Beckoned me down from my lightless perch. I danced among them, my fingers braided in theirs. When the moon gave itself up to the sea they left, waves pushing over their heads, the cloaks of their skin changing them back to creatures of the sea.
The third time they left he stood there with me, my selkie, his hand knotted in mine, the cloak of his skin no longer on his shoulders. We built a home up on the cliff, with a window to look out over the shifting blues.
When he stared at the sea I called him my salt eyes. He would dance on the shore then give tears to the waves, returning to me when he lost the moonlight.
My selkie didn’t know I had brought his secret under our roof. I didn’t want to lose him, or see the blue yearning fill his eyes, but I wanted to keep his sadness close, as if I could make it ebb when locked in my arms.
Some secrets should remain untouched in their thistled graves.
His skin stole him away, my selkie, my salt eyes. He could not resist the drum of the moonlight, the roaring lullaby of the sea. His feet danced and his mouth laughed, but when the ocean embraced its lost son I saw them; the tears of my salt eyes.
The seventh year approaches, the year he may return to me, but I do not know if he will come; was it he who chose to bury his selkie skin, or was it I who stole and locked it from him?