She has seen the piles of dolls crowded in roped-together boats, drifting listlessly, seasick and heartsick, anxious as cats. They bleed because now they have blood. The wind eats their foreheads and painted pink smiles. They are the opposite of pure. Salt in their eyes makes them suffer. Their bright kimonos, many-layered, pinch and steal their breath. When they can’t stand the smell, they cast their peach blossoms and rice cakes into the sea. Who would want these dolls now?They are still too precious to touch.
The weight of any shoe fits the mermaid’s palm like a clam. Rows of black silk slippers gaze at her like otter eyes.