Oyster on the tideline




Not that I’m shy about my flesh

though I wish it less scarred and southern


there are few men who have seen

me naked. You join them now 


for this intimacy. Private, away from 

all, you tell me to disrobe.


Unblinking I obey. There’s something

about the light on this shore


that makes it natural, like salt worn boards

or prized flint pebbles


but when I propose a streak from hut

to the sea, you explain the limits.


Civilisation and the neighbours

who’ll, no doubt, be first in line


to see me posed on the blue sofa in oils.


Crime of passion domestic violence counting


  1. I’m shallow-breathed, flat under the table and

  2. aching everywhere, as a blood tear meanders into my hair and

  3. sink-holes in my ear, stopping the echo and

  4. I fix on the rough planks, biroed and

  5. crayoned by one of the girls, I know not which, and

  6. this from years ago, I’ve not seen before and

  7. I wonder when, or why, and

  8. what was I doing? or where was I? at the time and

  9. the stick figure mother smiles green, flashes red teeth and

  10. waves her long purple hands, and.

Turning over, Daphne

I was paper thin

thin skinned


an avocado stone

set plump on a tripod

over a water dish



my wax body

till I cracked


split to my fat neck

as if liquid

would be the death of me.


Three sticks arrowed my flesh

so deeply

may have been a thousand


and yet

a root began, translucent

tentatived into fluid


stretched, branched




from my head, a cotelydon

a pair of young leaves

a stem, more.