Do you remember when we took the child
and drove down to the docks to see the boats
and how the water made him cry?
He said he was scared of sea monsters

and when I looked hard
he was right.
They were below us,
faces pressed to the dark glass
of the surface,
bodies coiled and sliding.

They’ve lived so long in the deeps
that their eyes have healed over.

Do you remember how
you liked it when I grew my hair?
And now it hides the bites they gave me
when they dragged me underwater.

Here’s me drifting in the dock,
hands bound
and only grace is keeping me afloat,
while you and the child
stand at the quayside
looking for me.
Are you looking for me?

I open my mouth and the words roar out
like a spill of blood,
and the water, hula-hooped with lifebelts from
every sunken ship,
nudges me away
from you.

And the sea monsters are waiting
trying their strength
on the sinews of the tide.