More dead stuff now it's those crabs
with eighteen eyeballs – skyballs on stalks,
periscope glass-eyed Mary's, body parts
litter the beach like cracked faces
looking back from the sand
I shake my claw at the sky, defiant old man
still skittering sideways through life and you
let go my hand, slip into the tide a fish –
school away – sunlight echoing off your laughter,
your voice receding in sonar pings
Because I said it was time to leave this place,
return to the city, reverse migration
of the gannets – streaming in flights
back to their roosts in the tiny rock warrens
Searching for you from above the water,
my wingtips brush the tops of the waves
hoping you feel my touch like cool sheets
drawn back from your shoulders.
I dive, transform,
but you are not fooled
by my clownfish act, my doll-fish face
a lethal disguise –
how I would pull you from the safety of the sea
and leave us both fighting for breath.
If I fail us, then return me here.
When at dawn the dogs come
to leap in the waves and devour
the broken promises of crabs,
do not deny their pleasure –
leave them to roll in my ashes.
The Sunday Muse