by Kate Holford
A wooden rise, smooth bannister sloping upwards along the edge of the stair,
And a towel, folded slightly at the hemming. It abuts another towel, white; the smell of fresh damp.
Outside there is only sea stretching over rocks & weeds, submerged
And a wrecked rowing boat that sank & has rested ever since
Between the arches of archaic rock, of hard black volcanos.
How can rock curl… to see them you would have to slowly push
Water over your limbs, & submerge
Whole body diving, deep diving to the bottom.
A dive so sure no surface any more & an ache through muscle
Deeper than the waters ever take.
At the bottom there is murk– the resignation to space compressing;
Everything monochrome, tinted aqua at a squint.
Your eyeballs roll,
A wooden rise,
A copse circumscribed by walking hands
Wandering the edges of the field.
Some tap index fingers- impatience married with an anxious tick
And the hope for leaving
Spinning on their whirligig, entrapped
Turn about the field as if it’s a room, four walls leaning in.
Mud floats lightly upwards, suspended silt
Where feet have kicked against the bottom. Form miniature rifts in the patination.
He said once that by waking early & seeing the water move in half light,
As if one single might, like crazy
You could understand, then, the simplicity of everything—
The great form could shift slightly
To the left or to the right, & all would be irrevocably changed.
Final, so final, and so stupid.
No swirling, just a great block of force; no turmoil of current.
You replied with silence, but silence has always recalled that day,
Closing the gate carefully at the edge of the beach
A deep foreboding question of why
Thinking all of it swept away as if redacted from the earth,
You learned, since, how to cope,
Whilst deeply diving through that singular being
Like crazy, like mad –
Frozen hands, and a face bitten by wet sand
Laced with a fossilised expression