From a distance

Seen from the dunes – the Long Hills –
seen, that is to say, from a distance –
the wet sand folds like silk towards the sea

Close to me now, your body,
still like silk after all these years,
ripples under my fingers

The tide is low: the figures at the water’s edge
silhouetted in the glow
beneath a darkening sky
seem fragile, at the mercy of foreign forces
yet to be unleashed

The blue building where we danced
is lost in the maze of paths behind us:
where sand meets shingle
small birds swoop
too fast to follow

So hard to find the right person,
the sweet spot
the undeserved ecstasy

Miles behind us, our footprints
sink into the shore
and the murmur on the beach
fades into another realm

We head into a cloud of unknowing –
not willingly, not sure of the paths
that kiss the marshes

Not sure where it all ends,
if it does end –
if there is a conclusion –
if there is firm ground

But my skin and your fingers
are like a well-oiled machine
with their own language and rituals
here and now –
seen, that is to say, from a distance