I took a long drive to the coast.

I did it to run away from a problem

called myself

and found it couldn’t be done.

Wherever I went, she followed,

stuck to my hip like a child.

In time her likeness upset me,

yet I envied her

the way she passed

from white to gold and back again

like an easy translation

then rocked herself blue by the shore.

She grew up green and seasick.


Neither salt of the sea

nor the earth was enough.

Not a single glittering fistful.

Even here the gulls are crying,

circling the endless sun,

white bellies salt-swollen

and swimming with scales.

I took a long drive to the coast

to get away from myself.

Escaping, never entirely,

eternally knuckled by pebbled hills,

soul rolled flat in the valleys.

My childhood scribbled in Welsh.

Five arches of stone,

two arches of flesh in my feet

still standing

as a younger self crawls away laughing

upshore to the rainbowed streets.

I track her bald knees in the sand.


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