Fat Man At The Beach

Put salt in a jar

That convalescent blue

Shook it until

The sun-flecked afternoon

Groaned seashell promises

Lazily rolling

The lap of drowning dreams

There is always a fat man at the beach

In the background, walking against

The shore like some chagrined duck

Or penguin, skinned raw, useless wings, hands like cranes

Making round desultory pecks

As if

Beyond all proprietal regrets

Still tentatively swimming

Aeroplanes

The beach is made of glass

Walking backwards

On the far side of the rain

Footprints erase themselves

In swiftly drawn tongues lapping 

I am inside my Melchizedek

A message, overlong

Stained with salt, curled within

Break to find the ocean’s scrawl

–Almost indecipherable 

We chastise to the whine   and palsied shake of aeroplanes

Bright and corkscrew shards

Just a casual threat

In the thought of sudden falling

Now a sun-struck chisel mark 

In the poise of distance

Almost gone

From the isthmus of my eye

The wound is sunset
      volcanic glass


           the sea


       between the cradle


      in the lee
              
    a swell
stretched in a glimpsed hiatus


The cigarette burn you left
                 still brightly watching


         from the harbour
of my chest


A ship with nowhere
but this destination 


You said sorry, how you slumped
burnt copper dreaming slept
the way old lighthouses do


The fabric holing
with that mesmer’s grace


Spilling ash and flickered thoughts
the glare clenched in the spasm of your fist
gone wave break lax


Afterwards
     for salve a sting, the glassy shine
        of long past knotted healing


 The grain of sand
    in the isthmus of your eye
  all that remains


Watchful
    in a different glass
(still wide awake)


Of the beach I dreamed