365 Poems: 24 – 5.45 am (Very rough first draft)

5.45 am

Waves curl up against the bottom of your spine.

When you turn around, I can see your smile,

clear, untroubled, like you hold all of the control

in the world in one hand.


Your breasts are white and wet,

dipping as you bob up and down in the surf.

I’m embarrassed, kick a cluster of bottle caps

and thick stubs of green glass, smoothed,

rounded by the sea.


I move on, sand nipping skin

between my toes, irritating my ankles.

There’s a small, neat heap of belonging.


On top of jeans and a t-shirt, folded

so the creases meet, is an anthology

of poetry, a marker midway.


An i phone has slipped from an open pocket

in a black bag, and is gently sinking into the sand.


Your shoulder blades are triangular,

prominent, beautiful.  You flip,

and start swimming backstroke.

I want to cup my hands over my mouth,

shout that the sea is strong,

that you need to be careful,

but what are the chances you’d listen?

You know what’s you’re doing


You’re moving fast now, towards the horizon,

hazy with the sunrise, and I worry, because

I’m scared of the sea. Coming here today

was a challenge, and I know that if you

were to get into any sort of trouble,

I wouldn’t be able to save you.


Nervous, I squeeze my eyes closed,

and when I open then you’ve gone,

like part of me hoped you would be.


The sea is still and grey and silent,

like nothing has happened

and nothing will.


The image that inspired this poem.