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By Hannah Chapman

you walk towards the water



strip off your vinegar skins under

a cathedral sky

your toes feel it first

the cold I mean

and the stones shift like rosary beads

beneath your feet

you tack forwards

inexorably drawn

and with every step the ocean claims another inch

of your fiddle flesh

and the water ascends your

thermometer body

like mercury

cool and silvered

and the silvered sea erodes

and erases

channelling salt paths

into your baggywrinkle skin

you coast onwards

down a sun-bleached aisle

and your veins scupper their tired load

and the sea rushes in

silk cold

and the silk cold sea

awakens every dormant organ

and soaks

with her saliva brine

your liver gut and maw

by now you are fathoms deep

fathomless deep

edges and horizons blurring

and the silvered sea erodes

and erases

an exquisite invasion

and the cold devours your batten bones

and gnaws down on your cellular walls

you lie back



to her salt assault

and adrift upon her currents

your driftwood limbs

disperse and shift

and your sea sponge heart

fills to bursting

in her frigid grip

and your bladderwrack hair

fans out about you

lifted by her undulations

and your periwinkle toes pierce

her perfect surface

wrinkling the mirror sky

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