Under a quick-setting glow, he and I
swallowed seaweed washed ashore; shoved
Fucus and Codium into our mouths
instead of kissing. Rolling
a clamshell between my palms, I studied
his eyelied, then the iris: a velvet ring.
a snake laced around a black apple.
With twisted zeal he declared his love
for Marine Biology, pointing
to a wooden plank covered in barnacles.
Later I climbed a rope ladder
to his attic mattress, guarded by finger puppets,
a pink camel, prickly pears … Giddy
with sheep hair and pillow flesh, I clung
despite him: already absent.
The me beneath established.