It comes beneath scudding sky, the slug of sea
singing green as glass, sucking and spraying

slate turrets, the jagged throne of Rhossili rock
where a boy squats, pink-chested

with a spade in his fist, turning pebbles.
A bumping heap of slow crabs, their wet scuttle.

Twirling a ribbon of seaweed, his grandfather bellows
in baritones, ‘Lavabread: salted, fried–

da iawn, mun’– coughs with a copper lung,
carrying both bucket and boy

to where a woman with loose brown skin
swings babies through the shallows,

towels their pudgy feet. She squints up, eyes
her teenage son sweating and frowning

beside the changing cubicle, half-aware
of the awkward snap of swimsuits,

and dead and thin as a fish, a rubber
floating pale in the Atlantic. He knows–

casting his net in the blue of his mind,
seeing the cradle of rock in salty dawn

shoving hard each morning to the mists
that he must spend years now hauling them,

the pearl-eyed, scaly monsters, his young skin
damp with stranger fish, his wide sargasso mind.


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