Halfway through an English half-summer Sunday
the clouds on parade suddenly turn,
unbutton their woolly coats and fling them
over the hazed horizon, north.

Seagulls hang soundless, suspended in salt,
through a half-open window of a fisherman's hut,
the day-tripper buzz comes in waves,
chirping and crabbing along the shore.

To the stalls, where oysters slip like tongues between lips.
What's five years in forging, cleaved apart,
swallowed whole with indelicate urgency.
A jolt of zinc-plated pleasure, the silver flash of regret.

Coy now, embarrassed by the brazen plunder
of nakedness, they seek amnesia in doughnut sandwiches.
While fingers carry an invisible memory,
the unspeakable haunting of the sea.

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