The sea is ripped green paper
and I am full of longing. Sometimes the sun
is netted and distended on the waves,
held there like a shivering coin.
Sometimes it’s a disc of ruched taffeta,
or a small sweet tangerine.
I’ve never been much good at swimming
but I can keep myself afloat. Further out
the sea is a tabletop of green marble.
A friend invited me to swim and I said no –
too cold this time of year. Truth is
it’s not the freezing temperature I fear
but leaving these comforts behind –
a woollen jacket, gloves, strong shoes;
the giving-up by degrees; loss
a necessary measure of whatever thrill
might meet me there.
A child learns it’s not the Sun that moves
but Earth. How do you get your head round
Fact is, you don’t. You give yourself away
to logic, graphs, and an adult’s wiser words.
I think the heart might be like that.
I’ve loved another man, and then another,
and the drowning and the flight were almost
Everything has its tipping point. Earth tilts
on its axis and the sun with all its fizzing
tilts too, in its own way. Even the green
does not sit entirely flat at its torn edges.
The sun has crept from that fin-shaped dip
to the lower headland and its twin face on
has shifted with it. Everything has its
Even the tiny fishing boat bobbing out there,
anchored by its shadow, will be steered back
into harbour at the end of the day.