The Lie at the Bottom of the Sea

It rolls off his breath.
Little thing, it slips his mind,
sits for weeks on the bed.

It tangles around leaves of kelp,
knots through bruise-coloured coral.
This is how its roots are set

and up it sways – gentle at first –
settles in the flow of tides,
it rocks just out of time with him.

He remembers it then – it prickles
his toes as he paddles.
His feet bury themselves in sand.

One day he sees his words afloat on the surface;
nets them to shore and reads them back,
sorts them to the order they left his lips.

Here is where the low tide throws its hollow waves,
and wind blasts the river mouth and swells
a wave that opens up the full stretch of an ocean,

and breaks.
She has no idea
she’s about to be buried beneath a flood.

Claire Walker’s poetry has been published widely in magazines, anthologies and webzines. She is a Reader for Three Drops Press, and Co-Editor of Atrium poetry webzine. She has two pamphlets published by V. Press – The Girl Who Grew Into A Crocodile (2015), and Somewhere Between Rose and Black (2017).

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