A child bites my hand, wrapping it over his
and catching his feet on unstable sand.
Looking back smoke rises from the shore.
Open fires and cigarettes divide the beach.
With ogre energy, laughing and cackling
the child throws a rock, splitting it in two
current breaking and reforming through it.
Inclement layers exposed to oxygen and salts.
His screams disturb the grown-ups on the shore
looking up from their personal spaces
places marked out by expensive kayaks
and bodies of wetsuits prostrate and idle.
His rolled up tracksuit bottoms are starting
to get wet and he hasn’t noticed the samphire
wrapping around his toes. Salt fingers
binding him in the water until he feels
and screams and giggles and razes his hands
God like against the incoming tide
that threatens to wash everything away
and asks to go home. Relieved, the adults
on the shore relax back behind their wind breaks.
Watch us tip toe over unexploded shells.
Exhale cigarette smoke. Lick the salt off their lips.
Resume their positions.