Angler Fish

Under glass you are
two pupils alive in the light.
I looked into you
but something fastened to the lips stopped
them from touching,
and I changed the lens to see
your smile, your teeth, your skin.

We could be deeper

into this something. So,
this time with your eyes closed
lean in.

Tuesday

In those atoms,
you burned up dying
to survive.
I tried touching the salt
on your lips
but missed and landed
on the ripped felt seats.
It’s impossible,
but I’m on the bus again.
It’s Tuesday,
and I see you, later,
making a pot of tea,
holding your trousers
around your waist,
shrinking into the armchair
of your first house-
love. You outgrew
the furniture there.
You outgrew me.
But I will pause with you
when you’re eighty-seven
and an armchair is all you have left,
and Tuesdays will be ours
to burn out together.

I’m glad I have known you

like this,
your hair curling up
behind the shoreline.

Walking the length
of your limbs
I stretch into the sea,
muscles tensed as hills.

I soften these fingers across buildings
and your skin
as it scatters with the waves

where the sand knows my prints.
It holds my body like birdsong
soft at six in the morning,
the pier dreaming in ships.

I am steeped in you,
as you are in the breath of everyone I know—
on the edge of something,
an almost sentence,
a tiny pebble of a poem

thrown out
into the ocean
and carried back to us one day.

– This poem was published in the 2014 Poetry and Short Fiction Anthology Make Time For Aberystwyth

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